During the 1930's, considerable significant research was being done in business education. To illustrate, August Dvorak (5) and others studied the typewriter keyboard and developed a new keyboard arrangement, called the "Scientific" keyboard by Dvorak. It was based on a study of finger work load and finger efficien cy. A study of typewriter table height as it affects type writing efficiency was made in Washington, D. C. The findings of this study indicated that typewriting effi ciency was highest when the hands and forearms slanted upward from the elbow to the typewriting keyboard at an angle which was approximately equivalent to that of the typewriter keyboard (30°). Studies that were made of typewriting rhythm patterns indicated that a varia ble rhythm pattern rather than an exact, metronomic rhythm pattern was needed for the development of high speed. Space does not permit a review of other signifi cant studies. Early Instruction Highlights Educational instruction has always meant order and discipline of a kind. The early typewriting instruction can be translated to mean a regimented type of learn ing geared to (1) an initial memorization of the type writer keyboard, (2) an accuracy-first, practiee-makes- perfeet concept of typewriting, (3) a "stamping-in" of habit patterns by means of a rigid, prescribed typing of drill materials, many of which were of the nonsense type, with little or no student knowledge of the purpose of the practice, (4) a metronomic concept of typewriting rhythm with much typewriting by students to the beat of march-type music, and (5) little or no teacher knowl edge of how skill learning best takes place. Present Typewriting Instruction The period of rapid educational progress which char acterized the first half of the 20th century was to result in changing methods of teaching typewriting and vastly improved typewriting textbooks. Research in the field of typewriting has been extensive nevertheless, much more carefully controlled research and experimentation remain to be done. The early keyboard memorization approach has changed gradually to (a) a roundabout method of key- position learning based on a touch method wherein the little-finger keys were used as the "reference keys" from which other key locations were learned, to (b) a more direct a.ssoeiation method wherein specific keys were related to specific fingers or to specific home-key positions, to (c) the learning of key locations as a part of a spatial pattern in relation to a central or home-key position. The latter requires a visible keyboard for most effective and economical learning. Cho/nging Methods of Teaching Typewriting In developing a method for teaching typewriting, it is necessary to determine which phases will be given major emphasis in the beginning stages of instruction. Of particular importance is the problem of whether ac curacy, speed, or form should be given such emphasis. Educators and psychologists have given considerable attention to this problem. The solutions which they have formulated are of importance to teachers of typewriting, for typewriting efficiency depends upon precision and speed of individual movements such as striking the keys and the space bar and returning the carriage of the typewriter. Obviously, typewriting as a skill also re quires speed in sequence of movements. The degree to which typewriting skill is acquired by students depends to a considerable extent upon the method of instruction that is employed by the typewriting teacher. Accuracy approach. Tlie traditional approach in the teaching of typewriting has been to emphasize accuracy of copy first,on the assumption that it is easier to speed up stroking than to correct errors. This approach seems to hinder the development of typewriting skill for the following reasons: 1. Students find it necessary to practice for accuracy at slow speeds. Research has proved that this retards the attainment of higher rates of speed. "With each change in speed level, students are forced to change the type of control and movement pattern which in turn in creases errors. The accuracy set seems, also, to act as a deterrent to increases in speed. 2. Accuracy has proved to be a very unstable factor in typewriting, and training students for accuracy at slow speeds gives them little accuracy advantage at higher speeds. A paradox results. Any attempt by a student to improve in speed wall result in loss of accu racy, which, if followed by an attempt to regain the accuracy, will result in a loss of speed. The student soon reaches a plateau in his skill development beyond which it is exceedingly difficult for him to progress. Speed approach. Generally speaking, if the "true" speed approach is used the teacher says nothing about errors, nor is any mention made of technique (good form) at the typewriter. The teacher using this ap proach puts forth great effort to increase speed. The usual remark of the teacher is "Try to type faster," but the students are not shown how to increase their type writing speed. As a result, this approach has proved ineffective. On the other hand, there is considerable evidence that speed must be forced at times in skill building. The student, however, must understand how best to do this. The so-called speed approach used by some teachers means that errors are temporarily ignored however, this is a modified speed approach since other controls are maintained and the student is not allowed to type "pell-mell" without purpose. Technique api'ROAch. The technique approach is one where students are led from clumsy and haphazard tech niques to a refinement of movements which result in typewriting skill. Skillful technique (good typewriting form) seems to be the best guarantee of combined speed and accuracy. Using the technique approach, students are guided progressively through a series of movements of head, eye, arm, hand, and fingersequenceswhich cul minate in those movements they are expected to use in typewriting. Good form develops as the training pro gresses. Continuous modification of movements at the 16 Business Education Forum
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