Effects of Odia Handwriting Education on Children’s Letterform Comprehension

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Out of a variety of scripts for several languages in India, Odia is one of the widely used scripts, majorly used in the eastern state of Odisha in India. However, similarly to many other Indic scripts, systematic study on the handwriting teaching process for Odia script has been largely neglected. Studies have found handwriting to have a substantial influence on children’s overall understanding of the visual forms of letters from an early age. In this context, this article explored various methods to teach Odia letterform writing to elementary schoolchildren. A handwriting activity was conducted with children to analyze the impact of Odia handwriting education on children’s handwriting acquisition as well as Odia letterform comprehension. The process of handwriting education was considered an early-level design education for children, and, hence, visual design attributes from the fields of typography and calligraphy were considered in order to analyze handwritten letters. The teaching methods of writing Odia letterforms were largely found to be unsystematic and highly individualistic. Finally, it was established that more investigation is required related to the anatomical aspects of Odia letterforms, grid structure, and writing methods to create a standardized knowledge repository that can assist in the formation of a design-oriented curriculum for handwriting education.