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.


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

Author Bio(s)

Jennifer Sze is a teacher, teaching associate and PhD candidate at Monash University. Her research interests include literacy, whole child school culture, boys’ education, education reform and teachers’ identity. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: Jennifer Sze, Monash University Clayton Campus, Faculty of Education, E-mail: jennifer.sze@monash.edu; Mobile: +61 409255500.

Jane Southcott is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education, Monash University. Her research foci are twofold. She explores community music, culture ageing and engagement in the arts employing both a qualitative, phenomenological approach and quantitative strategies. Her other research field is historical, particularly concerning the development of the music curriculum in Australia, America and Europe. She is a narrative historian and much of her research is biographical. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: jane.southcott@monash.edu.

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