We’re Losing Our Tactile Knowledge

Surgery Students ‘Losing Dexterity To Stitch Patients’, BBC News, 30 October 2018

“A lot of things are reduced to swiping on a two-dimensional flat screen,” he says, which he argues takes away the experience of handling materials and developing physical skills.

Such skills might once have been gained at school or at home, whether in cutting textiles, measuring ingredients, repairing something that’s broken, learning woodwork or holding an instrument.

Students have become “less competent and less confident” in using their hands, he says.

“We have students who have very high exam grades but lack tactile general knowledge,” says the professor.

Melinda likened this dexterity to our kinesthetic sense:

“… an ability to be aware of muscular movement and position. By providing information through receptors about muscles, tendons, joints, and other body parts, the kinesthetic sense helps control and coordinate activities such as walking and talking.”

We’re losing our tactile knowledge. I see this with cooking. Practice gives us an expertise that doesn’t come when cooking is sporadic.

Here’s Nadia exhibiting her technique on the Great British Bake Off:

3 thoughts on “We’re Losing Our Tactile Knowledge

  1. mboydp

    A couple friends also suggested taking up sewing or knitting or crocheting as a way of developing tactile skill–not to mention learning how to write in cursive. I can’t believe so many kids today can neither write nor read cursive handwriting!


    1. Bix Post author

      My own cursive is terrible. I just never use it.

      I just looked up if cursive is still taught in schools. It looks like some do and some don’t. How about that.


  2. mboydp

    Another friend suggested playing piano or other instruments could improve tactile skill. I’ll bet violin would be multisensory–tactile, kinesthetic, auditory, etc.
    Both my brothers have terrible cursive writing, but at least they were taught!
    And DOCTORS: don’t even go there!



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