Date of Award

1994

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Education Honours

Faculty

Faculty of Education

Abstract

The Victorian Modern Cursive script was introduced to Western Australia as the newly recommended handwriting style in 1990. The choice of this handwriting style, which is a foundation style similar to the Simple Modern Hand (Gourdie, 1981), was based upon the prediction that its use would facilitate the transition from beginners' script to full cursive writing. This assumption has not been tested in West Australian schools and hitherto no evaluation of the new handwriting model has been conducted. This study set out to evaluate and compare the legibility and fluency of cursive writing of a group of Year 3 children who had been taught the Victorian Modern Cursive style since Year 1 with the cursive writing of a group of Year 3 children who had previously been instructed in manuscript. The subjects were 60 randomly selected children from six schools in the Perth Metropolitan area. The sample contained an equal number of boys and girls and left- and right-handed children in each group. The children were individually rated for fluency of writing behaviours (posture, pencil hold, paper position and writing movement) as they completed a short writing task. The writing samples were then rated on a 20 point scale based on the criteria of letter formation, spacing, size and alignment and slant and joins. The teachers of the six classes were also interviewed to determine their attitudes toward the new style. It was found that the children in the group who had been learning the Victorian Modern Cursive style since Year 1 (experimental group) produced significantly more legible cursive writing than the group who had previously been instructed in manuscript (control group) [t(58) =3.25, p

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