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Handwriting in the 21st Century? An Educational Summit

Educators and university researchers from across the country will gather on January 23 at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. for “Handwriting in the 21st Century? An Educational Summit.” Zaner-Bloser in partnership with the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) will host the daylong event.

Controversy continues to grow over the role of handwriting instruction—especially cursive instruction—in elementary school. The Common Core State Standards allow each state to decide whether to include explicit cursive handwriting instruction. Some educators have begun to discuss eliminating cursive in favor of teaching children to type on keyboards, which is included in the standards for the upper grades. But is that a good idea? What impact will it have on children learning to read and write?

The distinguished university professors and researchers who will discuss the issue at the summit include:

  • Dr. Virginia Berninger, University of Washington
  • Dr. Jane Case-Smith, The Ohio State University
  • Dr. Gerry Conti, Wayne State University
  • Dr. Steve Graham, Vanderbilt University
  • Dr. Karin Harman James, Indiana University
  • Dr. Steve Peverly, Teachers College, Columbia University

AASA Executive Director Daniel A. Domenech will deliver the keynote address at the summit. “Understanding the effect of how we learn to write on how well we read is key to making good decisions about how and what we teach our children. This conference gives us a chance to understand the research and work together toward better classroom instruction,” said Domenech.

The summit also will include panel discussions on the role of prewriting in early childhood education, the relationship between handwriting and technology, and the importance of speedwriting and note-taking for college and career readiness.

For more information about the summit, visit

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