Marion Richardson: Her Life and Her Contribution to Handwriting

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Intellect Books, Feb 15, 2012 - Art - 95 pages
3 Reviews

In Marion Richardson: Her Life and Contribution to Handwriting, Rosemary Sassoon looks at Richardson's life and work through the artist and educator's own writings as well as letters and personal recollections from those who knew and worked with her. The driving force behind a momentous shift in the way art is taught to children, Richardson is perhaps best known for her groundbreaking contribution to penmanship, devising two schemes based on her observations of the natural movements of young children's hands. The result of extensive original archival research, this book includes many illustrations that depict Richardson's inventive approach.


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The other reviewers, embittered by their own experiences in handwriting education, fail to note that Marion Richardson was, as clearly explained in Hensher's "The Missing Ink" (2012), not an advocate of rote, uniform, restrictive methods. "Richardson wanted the child to explore a range of patterns for themselves, playing with crayon on paper as a foundation of good handwriting. She warns against imposing an 'adult sense of correctness' on children" (Hensher, p. 156). Let us not confuse later abuses with the intent of the system's originator. 

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I second the earlier opinion. One of the many ways in which my schooldays were made unbearable was the insistence on learning to write this way. I couldn't do it, and my handwriting has been appalling for sixty years. I was backward in another subject, and received extra tuition (and my successful career was thanks to that), but nobody ever thought of finding another way for me to write. I am just one of many who could tell similar tales: this woman should be reviled for her failure to observe that not all children's hands have the same "natural movements". 


her life
Part 2 Marion Richardsons contribution to handwriting

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About the author (2012)

Rosemary Sassoon earned a PhD from the Department of Typography and Graphic Communication at the University of Reading. She is the author of several books, including The Designer, also published by Intellect.

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