Pencil or Keyboard? Boys’ Preferences in Writing

Jennifer L. Sze, Jane Southcott

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


    Handwriting is an important subject in primary schools, especially in the Early Years. The importance of writing skill is now seen as a debate with the increasing demand on children to learn technology skills to help them with 21st Century learning—how to write on the keyboard effectively. The topic is important because handwriting is an essential life skill to have with or without technology. In this study, I looked at the importance of both in the context of the qualitative case studies in three schools in Melbourne, Australia. The aim of the research is to explore how do students understand the learning of handwriting and keyboarding in schools? This qualitative case study employed a Thematic Analysis approach in which the central intention was to understand the lived experience of six Year 6 boys across three schools and their attitudes to writing and technology. In this article, I addressed the importance of teaching handwriting to primary school students, especially in the first four years of their school life from Foundation to Year 3. The findings suggest that teachers should continue explicitly teaching handwriting to their students despite the heavy reliance on technology in today’s lifestyle.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1946-1959
    Number of pages14
    JournalThe Qualitative Report
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


    • Handwriting
    • Keyboarding
    • Writing
    • Boys
    • Elementary Education
    • Digital Technology
    • Thematic Analysis
    • Qualitative Research

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