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Fountain Pens Make Big Comeback at School

December 11, 2006

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A school in Scotland is giving its students some old-school instruction in how to write—using a fountain pen.

The fountain pen is a kind of pen that was popular a few generations ago, before the advent of the ball point pen and certainly before computers became commonplace as communication devices. Fountain pens used ink of a different sort entirely.

The Mary Erskine and Stewart's Melville Junior School, a private elementary school in Edinburgh, is the one where this old-fangled writing device is being featured. The idea is to improve penmanship and to put a renewed focus on the importance of writing a letter by hand. Especially when taking exams and, later, applying for colleges and for jobs, students need to know the correct structure for composing a letter.

Even in the age of computers in classrooms, students are still expected to take exams using handwriting. Educators discovered a gradual decline in penmanship that roughly corresponded to the rise of computers. The Melville Junior School, with its 1,200 students, aims to try to reverse that trend, one student at a time.

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