I went to junior school in the early 1980s. One of my most vivid memories is the treatment meted out to a classmate who was left-handed.
Like most of my peers in the class, I was right handed. At the age of 8 or thereabouts we were all able to write letters, words and sentences commensurate with that age group’s ability. So was my left-handed classmate.
With no noticeable difference between his standard of writing and that of the rest of us, I could never understand why the teachers kept telling him it was wrong to write with his left hand. I couldn’t understand why they berated him for doing what came naturally, especially when the effort he put in and the work he produced was comparable to that of others in the class.
I was horrified when they sellotaped his pencil to his right hand to try and force him to write with it.
Do you think this produced better handwriting? Of course not. Was it the right thing to do to that little boy? Of course not. Was the teacher’s behaviour successful in suppressing the child’s innate ability and disposition? No way.
1. One size does not fit all.
2. Achieving the aim is more important than obsessing over method.
3. Different approaches and ideas should be embraced, not feared or rejected.
So back to the sellotape, pencil, and confused, frightened child:
Does that sort of thing happen now?
Perhaps not literally.