Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Lee Jones, N.O. Taff, Finley Grise

Degree Program

School of Teacher Education

Degree Type

Master of Arts


Because of the fact that so little has been done to create a scientific, objective basis for a sound course of study in penmanship, it has long been the desire of the writer to develop some ideas that presented themselves several years ago. It has occurred that there is a real need for a basis of fact, rather than mere personal opinion, in the teaching of penmanship.

While the great pen artists and the great penmanship teachers of the past and present have wrought exceedingly well and have made a wonderful contribution to the improvement of handwriting pedagogy, there still remains much to be accomplished in this field. Heretofore, penmanship texts have often been based too much on the personal opinion of the author concerning the order in which the letters should be presented. In too many cases this order appears to be a haphazard arrangement with no particular plan or purpose except to get all of the capital and small letters in the course somehow.

But this order of presentation, and there are practically as many orders of presentation as there are authors, has been governed principally, in the writer's opinion, by the authors' ideas concerning the relation of one letter to another in form and possibly somewhat by their opinions relative to the difficulty of the letters. The easiest letters were presented first and the more difficult ones followed, being arranged in a progressive manner in the order of their difficulty. Little, if any, thought has been given apparently to the relative importance of the letters from the standpoint of the frequency with which they are used.

As far as the writer knows, no attempt has been made to determine the frequency with which the small and capital letters are used. It is his belief that this information will be helpful to teachers of penmanship in placing the emphasis in their teaching more nearly where the need for such emphasis is greatest. Consequently, it is this problem which has been chosen as the field of investigation for this study. To this task the writer dedicates his best efforts to contribute something worth while, if he may, to the teaching of penmanship, without expecting the contribution to be in any manner revolutionary.


Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Elementary Education | Elementary Education and Teaching | Teacher Education and Professional Development