the MacLean's method

The MacLean’s method of handwriting. 
H. B. Maclean, Victoria, c. 1921. Developed in Victoria by educator H. B. MacLean between 1921 and 1964, the MacLean method was used across Canada as the official handwriting method in schools, particularly in the Maritimes, parts of Quebec, Manitoba, and BC. Sources
Text: Shirley Cuthbertson’s “H.B. MacLean’s Method of Writing” in BC Historical News
Photo: Allan Collier Collection

It all looks very odd now, but this is how I was taught: pages of O's done moving your whole arm sliding over the desk with ease.  Practice makes perfect, and perfect was entirely without character or identity.  When I looked at Jack Layton's wacky little fillips on his highly legible signature – well, this was usually  the only place that individuality was added (much later in life than elementary school) to this relentless, flattened commercial script.  

One could completely change one's writing style, especially if one went into architecture where you either did drafting printing for the rest of your life, or went to some sort of arty italic calligraphic script.  But now, most people don't write at all, except blurted little shopping lists or illegible signatures at the bottom of a VISA bill.

Writing is like drawing, something we don't often do much either these days, preferring to cobble images together with Illustrator and Photoshop – activities that engage a completely different part of the brain than drawing, on paper, with a curious instrument holding either ink or graphite, in the hand.