This page is dedicated to handwriting research. To learn about assistive technology for struggling writers refer to the Assistive Technology page of this wiki.

Let us first consider some basic principles when thinking about how to teach handwriting.

Universal Design for Learning is a set of principles for curriculum development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn. UDL provides for multiple means of representation and takes into consideration that everyone has a different learning style.

Principle I. Provide Multiple Means of Representation

Guideline 1 of UDL: Provide options for perception by providing the same information through different modalities

Based on UDL principles there are four major channels of learning:

Visual learners learn through seeing. They prefer to look at illustrations, or watch others doing something, rather than listening.Auditory learners prefer to listen. They are usually able to memorize what they hear and tend to be very attentive when information is presented in this fashion.Tactile learners like to incorporate their fine motor skills. They like to keep their hands busy.
Kinesthetic learners need to use their bodies in the learning process. They need to “do”. They are hands-on learners. UDL Guidelines link


Using UDL principles a handwriting program would need to address all four major channels of learning: visual, auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic.

What does the research say?

The research tells us that most children will learn to write no matter what hand writing program is used although for struggling learners and students who have difficulty with handwriting choosing a handwriting program that meets the criteria and principles of UDL are essential when implementing an inclusion model.


GRAPHOMOTOR SKILLS: WHY SOME KIDS HATE TO WRITE This is one of the best articles I have found that clearly explains the components of handwriting and why children may struggle with this task. How many times have you heard, "he can do it when he wants to"? Read this article and find out why a student may be inconsistent with handwriting output as well as ideas for handwriting accommodations. Handwriting, it's not just in the hands!


Handwriting Instruction: What Do We Know? ERIC Digest

Six Questions Educators Should Ask before Choosing a Handwriting Program. ERIC Digest.

Handwriting Instruction in Elementary SchoolsAmerican Journal of Occupational Therapy 60,461-471, 2006

Handwriting Readiness: Locatives and Visuomotor Skills in the Kindergarten Year Early Childhood Research and Practice Vol 3 No.1, 2001

Handwriting development, competency, and intervention Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 19 March 2007

Handwriting Without Tears Research