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Left-Handedness and Education

Up until the last generation, left handed children were forced to use their right hand at school, often having their left-hand tied behind their back or their knuckles rapped if they picked up a pen in their left-hand. As well as the obvious feelings of inadequacy and insecurity this produced, left-handed children that were forced to switch to use of the right hand often experienced bed-wetting and developed speech impediments.

Left-Handers account for a large percentage of students in remedial reading classes and, at the other end of the scale, in universities, greater that the average 10-15%

Teacher training video

The Left-Handers Club, in conjunction with The Post Office and Berol Ltd, have introduced a major advancement in the teaching of left-handed pupils by launching the first ever training video to deal with this important issue. The video, "Left-Handed Children - A Guide for Teachers and Parents" covers the specific needs of over 10% of all school and nursery children, with particular emphasis on handwriting, reading, and co-ordination skills, and is the culmination of a 3 year campaign by the LHC, strongly supported by Conservative MP Peter Luff.

Designed to fill an admitted gap in teacher training, the video has been described by the Chief Executive of the Teacher Training Agency, Anthea Millett, as "... an extremely useful resource. We found it very informative and thought provoking. It raises some important concerns and will encourage teachers to recognise the left-handed issue". The Agency has funded distribution of the video to all providers of initial teacher training in the U.K.

The Minister for School Standards, Ms Estelle Morris, in answer to a question in the House of Commons on 14th January 1999 stated "The video can play a part in raising teachers' awareness of the particular issues surrounding left-handed children. I hope that it will be of use both for the initial training and continuing professional development of teachers."

LHC spokesman Mark Stewart, who produced the video, is naturally delighted with the project, but voices a note of caution: "We are concerned that there are no specific requirements in place to include this video as part of in-service teacher training. We believe that it is vital that the video is seen by all teachers currently working with nursery and primary school children, otherwise children will continue to struggle and be disadvantaged by a lack of appropriate equipment and training for such fundamental skills as handwriting and cutting out.

The Post Office has provided the majority of funding for this project and Mr Moss Foley, National Education Manager for The Post Office said "The Post Office is very pleased to support the production of this video. We hope it will help teachers and parents to be fully aware of the particular needs of left-handed children, so that young people can get full benefit from their education." The LHC are also grateful to Berol Ltd who assisted in sponsoring the video and accompanying A3 wall chart.

The video "Left-Handed Children - A Guide for Teachers and Parents" is available from our on-line shop (you'll find it in the Children's Books section)..

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