Use of technological tools to evaluate handwriting production of the alphabet and pseudocharacters by Brazilian students
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OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to characterize and compare the handwriting performance of Brazilian students from the 3rd to the 5th grade level of elementary school I with a computerized instrument that allowed the real performance to be observed during the execution of the handwriting. METHODS: Ninety-five students, aged 8 years to 11 years and 11 months, were assigned the production tasks of handwriting letters and pseudocharacters to assess the variables of latency, letter duration production and movement fluency. The stimulus presentation and the analysis of the movements were analyzed by Ductus software. RESULTS: In relation to the writing duration, latency and fluency of the alphabet letters, there was a diminution of values from the 3rd to 5th grade. For the comparison between alphabet and pseudocharacter latency, the results indicated a difference between the alphabet letter and its corresponding pseudocharacter, with greater latency for the pseudocharacter. This finding suggests that a motor sequence has not been established, so it cannot be assumed that the production of the alphabet letters was automatic. CONCLUSION: The results of this study make it possible to verify the interaction failures between the central and peripheral processes, with progression between the 3rd and 5th grade. It also highlights the influence of the lack of systematized teaching of the tracing of letters for Brazilian students since proficiency in calligraphy is critically linked to academic performance. These findings provide a great contribution to Brazilian educational psychology and reflect both educational and clinical practices.