Welcome to the Historical Fiction Online forums: a friendly place to discuss, review and discover historical fiction.
If this is your first visit, please be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above.
You will have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed.
To start viewing posts, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Should Cursive Handwriting Still Be Taught?

A place to debate issues or to rant about what's on your mind. In addition to discussions about historical fiction, books, the publishing industry, and history, discussions about current political, social, and religious issues and other topics are allowed, so those who are easily offended by certain topics may want to avoid such threads. Members are expected to keep the discussions friendly and polite and to avoid personal attacks on other members. The moderators reserve the right to shut down a thread without warning if they believe it necessary.
User avatar
Ludmilla
Bibliophile
Posts: 1346
Joined: September 2008
Location: Georgia USA

Should Cursive Handwriting Still Be Taught?

Post by Ludmilla » Wed October 17th, 2012, 2:58 pm

This is a subject that affects my family. Our school district dropped cursive writing from the curriculum last year, which was the year my youngest daughter should have been taught. Now I'm taking on the task of teaching her because I believe it is very important to know how to write as well as read cursive writing. I am very disappointed, to the say the least, that cursive is being dropped from schools all over the country. Here's one news articleon the subject. (Of course, I'll add that as a parent I'm appalled by quite a bit of what is and is not taught in our school these days. Don't even get me started on how certain subjects are being taught!)

What is your opinion?

User avatar
fljustice
Bibliophile
Posts: 1995
Joined: March 2010
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Contact:

Post by fljustice » Wed October 17th, 2012, 3:22 pm

I was appalled, as well, when my daughter's school dropped cursive and I taught her myself. Unfortunately, because this was "extra" my daughter was highly resistant (a testament to my poor teaching skills, I'm sure, rather than the content) and to this day, she prints any handwritten material. Maybe I should have taught it as art rather than as a rote exercise. She does have a crude childish signature where she makes an attempt to connect the letters. That was the "graduation" requirement when she didn't have to practice the letters anymore.

That said, it seems to bother me more than her. The lack of cursive does not seem to have affected her life in any way. She is lightning fast on the keyboard and texting pad. She takes notes in class on her computer. She rarely even needs to write a signature and in the near future we all will probably use biometrics to confirm our identities. Of course, after the apocalypse when we won't have access to our electronic toys, she will be up a creek, as will we all who haven't continued those domestic/farming skills of our parents and grandparents!
Faith L. Justice, Author Website
Image

User avatar
MLE (Emily Cotton)
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 3562
Joined: August 2008
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Thu October 18th, 2012, 4:40 am

I hated cursive then, and I hate it still. I hate to get letters written in it, as they take me twice as long to decipher. And while we are at it, I don't much care for cursive fonts.

Cursive can go the way of hieroglyphics and cuneiform -- there are special university-level classes where those who need to interpret dead forms of communication can study and learn them.

Long live QWERTY!

User avatar
Justin Swanton
Reader
Posts: 173
Joined: February 2012
Location: Durban, South Africa
Contact:

Post by Justin Swanton » Thu October 18th, 2012, 5:22 am

I don't quite follow this. Does it mean that children will be unable to write by hand? Or will they have to write block letters or something? I can't imagine a world in which one will not need writing skills. What do you do when you want to put a quick note on the fridge for the maid?
Nunquam minus solus quam cum solus.

Author of Centurion's Daughter

Come visit my blog

User avatar
Ludmilla
Bibliophile
Posts: 1346
Joined: September 2008
Location: Georgia USA

Post by Ludmilla » Thu October 18th, 2012, 2:14 pm

Thanks to everyone who responded.

I don't mean to sound like Chicken Little. I don't think the sky will fall if kids don't learn cursive, but I think the importance of handwriting in general (whether one uses print or cursive) is underestimated in today's world where visionaries overestimate and inflate the capabilities of the technologies they sell. I also think we all have different learning styles, and for some writing by hand can force you to slow down and think about what you are going to say before you say it (not such a bad thing, IMO).

I don't write much by hand anymore, and I've noticed that my handwriting is much sloppier. I've also noticed my motor skills have deteriorated as well.
Justin asked: I don't quite follow this. Does it mean that children will be unable to write by hand? Or will they have to write block letters or something? I can't imagine a world in which one will not need writing skills. What do you do when you want to put a quick note on the fridge for the maid?

Children still learn handwriting. As soon as they enter school, they learn how to print. In my region, most kids learn cursive in third grade. Our school has eliminated it altogether, though in all honesty, I don't think they've spent much time on teaching cursive in many years. My oldest daughter (12 going on 13) usually writes in a mix of print and cursive (she's also left-handed). Youngest daughter was taught to print her letters in a different style when she started school. I've forgotten the name of the method, but the children were taught to print with what they call curls to the letters which (they claim) makes it easier to transition from print to cursive. Then, of course, they abandoned cursive altogether from the curriculum which made that style of print a wasted effort. Children are also being pushed to write their reports on the computer and turn them in on a flash drive. She's getting more and more homework assignments that direct her to a website (even for spelling words) rather than asking her to write them out by hand. The problem then comes in when she has to handwrite an assignment. I've noticed her spelling and test scores in language arts for handwritten assignments have plummeted in the last year since they've been doing this. She spelled and read better in second grade than she does in fourth which is making me wonder if there is a correlation between lower test scores and more reliance on the computer (which basically does the spell-checking for her) and less encouragement to write assignments out by hand.

I don't think handwritten signatures will be replaced by digital signatures anytime soon (at least not on legal documents). I work for a company that serves mainly Fortune 500 companies, and most of these companies aren't accepting digital signatures. They want original documents signed by hand.
MLE said: I hated cursive then, and I hate it still. I hate to get letters written in it, as they take me twice as long to decipher. And while we are at it, I don't much care for cursive fonts.
I'm with you on the cursive fonts. They aren't practical for business because of the readability issue you bring up. I refuse to use them for Christmas cards, for example. Numbers, in particular, are difficult to read if you don't use a very clear, clean font.

annis
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 4585
Joined: August 2008

Post by annis » Thu October 18th, 2012, 6:24 pm

There have been studies which indicate that learning handwriting (of any sort) is a significant factor in cognitive development. It engages the brain in ways that typewriting doesn't. One of many articles on the subject here:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 22518.html

User avatar
LoveHistory
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 3751
Joined: September 2008
Location: Wisconsin, USA
Contact:

Post by LoveHistory » Thu October 18th, 2012, 7:23 pm

[quote=""Justin Swanton""]I don't quite follow this. Does it mean that children will be unable to write by hand? Or will they have to write block letters or something? I can't imagine a world in which one will not need writing skills. What do you do when you want to put a quick note on the fridge for the maid?[/quote]

I guess you'll just have to text the maid instead. Or send a nano-message from your biometric chip to hers.

User avatar
Divia
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 4435
Joined: August 2008
Location: Always Cloudy, Central New York

Post by Divia » Thu October 18th, 2012, 8:34 pm

This and learning how to read a traditional clock are going to die.

The fact is that because of our lives are so dependent upon computers there is no longer a need to use cursive. And with all the new regulations teachers have this can easily be pushed to the side.

Student still learn how to write, which they should. I think it helps them process the letters n stuff they use. But they can print them.

I have students who cannot read cursive. I can, but then again I was taught it. I also have students who dont know how to read a traditional clock becuase everything is digital now.

I'll be honest I dont know how how to sign my name in cursive. And when I had to write a paragraph in it for a college exam I stopped dead on my tracks. Wasn't sure what to do.

It is a dying art forum. Blame it on technology I suppose.
News, views, and reviews on books and graphic novels for young adult.
http://yabookmarks.blogspot.com/

User avatar
Kveto from Prague
Compulsive Reader
Posts: 919
Joined: September 2008
Location: Prague, Bohemia

Post by Kveto from Prague » Thu October 18th, 2012, 8:34 pm

You know, cursive (or joined-up writing for the European/Brit board members here) is still taught here in my daughter's school and I'm not sure if that's a good thing. It seems to be a skill that doesn't have as much practical value as it once did. While well-written cursive looks very pretty, but most people don't write well. Poorly written cursive is much harder to read than poorly written block printing.

If there's one skill that I wish my primary/secondary school would have put more emphasis on, it's typing. To be honest, more typing practice would have had much more of an influence on my future than cursive.

For my daughter's generation, one form of handwriting (printing block letters) will probably be enough. but that's just my opinion.

User avatar
Divia
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 4435
Joined: August 2008
Location: Always Cloudy, Central New York

Post by Divia » Thu October 18th, 2012, 8:38 pm

Agreed on the typing thing.

However its been found that kids have computers before they hit school so they already have developed their own method on how to type. Its hard to fix that. Impossible? Prob not but hard.

I will say this, the BEST course I ever took was typing. OMG, I am so thankful I sat though that horrible class because it has paid off in ways I cannot say!

So a shout out to Mr. Shivley. :D
News, views, and reviews on books and graphic novels for young adult.
http://yabookmarks.blogspot.com/

Post Reply

Return to “Debate/Rant Forum”