Fountain Pens Lead to Academic Achievement

For academic achievement, use a fountain pen. Or, so says Bryan Lewis, principal of the Mary Erskine and Stewart's Melville Junior School in Scotland (reported by Ben McConville, Associated Press, via Remote Access):

"The pens improve the quality of work because they force the children to take care, and better work improves self-esteem," principal Bryan Lewis said. "Proper handwriting is as relevant today as it ever has been."

Students as young as 7 have been instructed to forgo their ball point pens and get to grips with its more artful predecessor. By the time they reach grade five, at age 9, they are expected to write mainly with fountain pens.

In another post, I wrote about a claim that holding a pen or pencil "stimulates ideas," because it "massages acupuncture points." And now we read that "proper handwriting" results in "better work," because it "massages" self-esteem. It's interesting how it can even make sense: Students take more care, so their work improves, which in turn improves their self-confidence, which in turn improves their work, and so on. But,then again, it may be an instance of an expectancy effect, such as the Hawthorne Effect. What do you think?