Cursive Handwriting — Should Schools Still Teach It?
Does your child write in cursive?
In today’s technological age, is it still appropriate to teach cursive handwriting? It’s a debate that has people arguing both sides with neither side winning or losing.
That’s because there are good reasons on both sides of the debate.
I want to look at both the pros and the cons of the issue, and let you decide.
Common Core Curriculum standards were developed in 2009 and released in 2010. The standards do not include the requirement to teach cursive handwriting. Although adopted by 42 of our 50 states by September, 2015, some states have dropped Common Core—but that’s another story.
The cons side of teaching cursive handwriting
Many people consider cursive handwriting to be an archaic skill no longer necessary in our technological world. They argue that cursive, like calligraphy, is a form of art and therefore not significant to a child’s education. (They also think that the Arts and Humanities are unnecessary.) The majority of our written communication is done on a
computer, a phone, or a tablet. It’s more important to spend the time teaching children to use these tools than to write in cursive. Their success in the future depends on being able to communicate effectively on technology, not on paper (except for the printed product of technology). Writing, they argue, should be nothing more than function; therefore, however a child writes is suitable.
The pros side of teaching cursive handwriting
There are at least as many people who think that creativity in education is valuable as those who don’t. Cursive handwriting is a creative expression of a person’s identity that is unique to each individual. Learning cursive is one more way to engage the side of the brain not developed by basic reading and writing. As a child learns the alphabet, the more ways he or she interacts with the letters, the more solidly the learning happens. Kinesthetic learning uses the whole body to acquire knowledge, and cursive writing uses different muscles and skills than does printing. Writing the shapes of the letter A, for instance, is different than writing the shape of the letter B. However, pressing the key for A is exactly like pressing the key for B. Studies have shown that when a child uses his or her whole body, more of what is learned is retained. It is also a link with our past, as many historical documents, such as the Constitution, are written in cursive. Will our children need an interpreter to read such documents in the future?
What do you say? Should cursive writing be taught in schools? Tell me in the comments below.