Why Mistakes Matter

Back in the day, penmanship mattered. I remember slaving over those wide ruled papers with the pale blue lines, endlessly duplicating the alphabet – first in print and then in cursive. Even at that young age, I felt I was squandering my youth. Oh, the things I could have been doing. Maybe you felt the same way. Still, I felt a pang when I heard that schools were abandoning cursive for keyboarding and giving short shrift to penmanship as a whole. Call me old-fashioned but I feel those things matter. And, as a Feldenkrais practitioner, I feel that the process and movement matter. Seems they do.

In this article from the NY Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/03/science/whats-lost-as-handwriting-fades.html?_r=1 scientists who have been exploring the effects of “how” on learning have found that the physical messiness of learning to write helps us to learn. In other words, making mistakes is an integral part of how we learn. That’s not all, all that trial and error helps with both memory and the creative processes at large. Something those of us who are getting older could use to keep our brains young. I think I’ll go buy myself a pad of that kinder-paper.

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