At the beginning of each school year I marvel at how big of a challenge it is to get everything organized. Education is not new, drawing school district lines is not new, establishing bus schedules is not new, and determining outcome measures for education is not new - but each year it is as if no one has ever done it before, and people are left floundering around trying to figure out what needs to be done and how it needs to be done!
In my own little OT corner of the universe we came upon the issue of 'what are the best scissors for preschoolers to learn how to cut with?' Well there are no shortage of opinions but there is very little evidence I could find. That was a little surprising given the length of time we have been teaching preschoolers how to use scissors.
Having practiced OT for over 20 years I have some opinions, but they are just opinions and I have no proof to offer that the way I do things is any better than any other way. I am aware of a fine book about scissors training that Marsha Dunn Klein wrote around 20 years ago - but that wouldn't qualify as 'current' information. I am also aware of some interesting book chapters and presentations by Mary Benbow that I have read and attended over the years - but again this is nothing more than expert opinion based on normal fine motor development. We have some good developmental expectations on when skills are typically attained (as per PDMS and HELP data) - but these don't specify any given teaching method or even any specific type of scissors!
I looked through the searchable AJOT database and came up empty. OT Seeker did not have anything on the topic either. So what are the best scissors for preschoolers to use? Have I missed anything out there that anyone is aware of?
This year we will try to begin to answer this question. Since we have convenience samples that essentially parallel each other in demographics and need, and since both methods seem well accepted we will simply use Benbow scissors in one set of rooms and Fiskar scissors in another set of rooms. At the end of the year we will look for some narrative perspective of the therapists and teachers and we will look at actual rates of goal attainment since so many of the kids have scissors goals. If during the course of the year it becomes evident that one scissors is clearly superior we will switch all classes to those scissors.
Or if someone can help us answer this question sooner we would love to see your evidence!