Posted by Administrator on 3/18/2014
“NC Schools Write Off Cursive Instruction”
“New Core Education Goals Eliminate Requirements for Cursive Penmanship”
“Goodbye, Cursive Writing?”
These are some of the headlines in recent months for news articles related to
cursive handwriting. The whole proposal to eliminate cursive handwriting
requirements is presented for several reasons by its proponents:
When one looks at these four
reasons for eliminating cursive handwriting, it becomes evident fairly quickly
that they are weak reasons. A number of questions come to mind when we look at
the reasons presented. Since when do we keep certain skills or subjects in our
home schooling purely because they are on a standardized test? (Bible training
would also be eliminated from our school curriculum, if that was the case.) Can
we truly argue that because our children use phone texts and e-mails more than
pen and paper, we should quit teaching them handwriting in lieu of keyboarding?
Is it legitimate to propose that keyboarding is faster than cursive, so we
should allow ideas to flow faster over any other determining factor? Whatever
happened to the notion that practice improves speed? Don’t Olympic athletes
repeatedly train and practice based on that very premise? And shouldn’t the
fact that our coming generations are relying on computers to Spellcheck and
grammar correct their writing send tremors of concern down our spines? Every
time we allow an outside source (versus our own learning of rules and writing
patterns) to dictate our final product, we dumb-down our nation, squelch
creativity, and turn over responsibility for education to some unseen
computer-programming entity who determines for each generation what is good and
acceptable grammar, syntax, and spelling. Two or three generations from now, if
this trend continues, I predict that all the abbreviations and incomplete
sentences of texting and tweeting will become the common spellings of words and
the standard way of sharing ideas.
- Cursive writing is no longer required in standardized
tests, so it is unnecessary and a time-waster in school.
- Cursive handwriting is obsolete in comparison to
keyboarding skills in our electronic society.
- The transition from teaching block print to
cursive can interfere with the student’s ability to compose—put thoughts down
on paper. When they are initially learning cursive, their speed decreases as
they are learning the loops and joins, which hinders their number of words and
expression of ideas.
- Typing and keyboarding is more efficient because
it is faster, and Spellcheck and grammar checks in the computer programs
eliminate some of the “hiccups” that come with handwritten work.
Granted, this sounds very
doomsdayish regarding simple cursive handwriting skills. (By the way,
Spellcheck does not acknowledge “doomsdayish” as a word. I’ve gone Websterian
for creativity’s sake.) While we admit, we are “only” talking about
cursive skills, we believe the effects of eliminating such skills are
far-reaching. “Praising Cursive Handwriting” will be our next article….