Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Liberal Studies

First Advisor

Rinaldo C. Simonini, Jr., Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Richard K. Meeker, Ph.D.


One leading authority in the business education field estimates that about one-half of the 800,000 students who enroll in Gregg shorthand each year either drop out or never attain job proficiency. Figures show that in the State of Virginia the enrollment in beginning shorthand is two to three times as high as in the important second year. Why should there be so many drop-outs? Why should there be so many who do not attain job proficiency?

There is a possibility that the whole problem revolves around the question of insight. Gregg shorthand is based on linguistic principles which become an integral part of it, but our standard methodology does not include these principles as part of the material necessary to an understanding of the basic subject matter.

Many people, perhaps most, are not cognizant of the intellectual activities involves in the learning of shorthand. On the whole, our methodology considers shorthand as a vocational skill not subject to the same type of teaching methods as those used in the liberal arts area. I believe that this viewpoint is in error and that our methodology could be improved through critical self-examination.

Gregg shorthand is taught in 20,000 schools which mean that there are at least 20,000 shorthand teachers. We represent a large body of educators who are intellectually capable in this field, and yet we have as a whole a fifty per cent loss, a loss which might perhaps be overcome if we would use our classrooms as laboratories to determine for ourselves that factors which are interfering with the development of insight into the subject matter.

It is with this idea in mind that I have undertaken this study and have carried an informal experimentation in my classes at Longwood College.



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