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Many of the best psychologists of recent times have brought their intelligence and industry to bear upon this prob- lem, and the results which they have obtained are of sufficient importance to justify the compilation of their data and an attempt to apply their findings in a practical way to the prob- lems which beset the teacher of writing. The earlier investigators of handwriting confined them- selves closely to the act of writing, devoting their attention to an anlysis of the movements used. Because of their labors it is now possible to state in a fairly authoritative fashion just what is the best type of movement and how it may be most easily acquired. Until some device for the accurate measurement of quality in writing was devised, it was almost impossible to investigate the product of the writing act with any degree of accuracy. A new era of investigation opened then, and following his lead Ayres, Freeman, and others have constructed more or less efficient scales for the measurement of handwriting.
While not as much work as could be desired has been done with these scales in the way of school surveys, comparison of methods, and the solving of various problems in writing, still sufficient has been accomplished to justify the publication of a book which attempts to bring together the main facts in a way which makes an intelligent and comprehensive view of writ- ing and its problems possible. Innovations are apt to be looked upon with distaste by the average teacher, who, for the most part, is bound by the ties which tradition casts about him.
Who of us does not use methods, which he knows to be faulty, just because they have been impressed upon him by his own teachers? Who among us has the courage and initiative to adopt radical changes in practice when such a change neces- sitates the shaking off of old habits and traditions?
Writing of to-day is for merely temporary and utili- tarian purposes, yet too often our schools labour upon it as though the attainment of beautiful handwriting was one of the most desirable ends of education. It is not education at all in any real sense of the website for paraphrasing word, but only a preparation for education, a tool to website for paraphrasing be used in worth-while work. It will be seen from the foregoing remarks that the writer does not subscribe to the view that writing is not well enough taught in our schools, and that more time and attention should be paid to the subject. As a matter of fact, he believes that too much attention is paid to it as website for paraphrasing a school subject. Para- doxical as it may seem, he also believes that the remedy for the undoubted fact that our schools do not produce writers who are satisfactory to the men who later employ them lies in less teaching rather than more. Less teaching and better teaching at the beginning is the proper answer. If any reader finds the repetition of the idea that writing is a means to an end and not an end in itself wearisome, let him remember that the fundamental fallacy underlying the present methods of instruction in writing is just the refusal to accept that view and to work it out to its logical conclusion. The position of writing as a school subject has been a fruitful source of debate. On the one hand, we find a few radicals who claim that writing should be acquired website for paraphrasing incident- ally along with other school work. On the other, many care- ful thinkers believe that writing is a far too complex and specialized habit to be acquired in such a haphazard fashion. It is per- haps true that the difficulty of acquiring a reasonably good hand has been over-estimated as a natural result of the analysis of the movements used in handwriting, and as a legacy from the days when reading, writing and arithmetic formed the total curriculum of elementary schools. In any case, it is certain that writing will remain as a special subject upon the curriculum of our elementary schools, and therefore the discussion of method, which would be useless if the radi- cals had their way, is still of value. If the home environment of every school-child were such that it would just naturally come to want to write, the posi- tion of those who favour no instruction at all in writing would be immeasurably strengthened. Unfortunately, this is not the case, and the duty of arousing interest and training to skill in writing devolves upon the school.