In-depth analysis of handwriting curriculum and instruction in four kindergarten classrooms
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The quality of handwriting curriculum and instructional practices in actual classrooms was investigated in an in-depth case study of four inner city kindergarten classrooms using quantitative and qualitative methods. The handwriting proficiency of students was also evaluated to assess the impact of the instructional practices observed. The findings suggest that even though teachers employ a number of effective strategies, there is room for improvement in implementing effective, research-approved handwriting instruction. In particular, daily, explicit instruction, writing for fluency, writing from memory, and use of self-evaluation are areas that need improvement. Results indicate that the lack of emphasis on these practices impacted the quality of teaching and learning of handwriting skills. Future research is needed on the impact of teacher training, use of an assessment tool that objectively assesses students’ handwriting, use of reading and handwriting curriculum that complement and reinforce one another, and the effectiveness of research-based strategies in practice.