Abstract

Handwriting is the cornerstone of written performance and communication for school-age children. This mixed-methods study explored the impact of Common Core State Standards on handwriting instruction and its effects on perceptions regarding children’s written responses in elementary school. Using surveys and interviews of elementary teachers, occupational therapists, and administrators in New York State public schools, we sought to understand current trends in handwriting instruction, changes in time spent on handwriting instruction in the classroom, supports offered to students who did not meet expectations for handwriting, and the impact of Common Core on children’s written expression. Themes emerged revealing decreased handwriting instruction time and inconsistent use of handwriting instructional programs in the classroom after implementation of Common Core. Handwriting should be considered as a greater component in the foundational standards in Common Core. Occupational therapy services can support handwriting instruction implementation.

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