How important do you feel it is for school children to learn cursive writing?
Also known as "long hand" writing, this technique for penmanship has been around for ages. In this age of txting and electronic signatures, some people believe cursive/long hand is archaic and unnecessary. What do you think?
When I was in school, people still used writing a lot. Now I would say its not that important. Hardly ever do we write anymore. Now we text and email.
Although, its a good thing to know if ever needed.
The Amish stopped adopting new technologies and letting go of old ones at a certain point. I see this as a similar scenario: the world has moved on and kids should be allowed to choose/not choose to study old technology while living in the present.
I think the more skills and knowledge we lose the more dependent we become on Big Brother and other people who do still know those skills and have that knowledge, whatever that knowledge and those skills may encompass.
There was a time when people knew what to do if the electricity went off for a few days, but now most people are lost and it becomes a major emergency. The more dependent we are on 'others' the less freedom we have and the easier it is to control and manipulate us politically and otherwise.
What if there were suddenly no computers or cell phones to communicate with. How would you send a message if you can't write? That's next, not teaching children how to write at all.
I work for our local school district and every day I am confronted by something that makes me so glad I home schooled my daughter (now 25). I had a gazillion reasons for doing it at the time, and now have twice as many as to why I'm glad I did it -- but still more reasons to be glad I did it just keep piling up! My daughter knows how to read and write cursive. She knows how to do math without a calculator. She knows how to read a map. With GPS, who needs that? What if the GPS isn't working? I've run into GPS that was just plain wrong.
I think it is important for our children to learn basic skills and as much else as possible. You never know when certain knowledge will be useful or when you'll be so glad you know it. It never hurts to educate yourself, but sometimes not knowing things puts other people in charge and you at their mercy. Hard to imagine that happening over cursive writing, but what if you need to read something written in cursive and you can't? What if it's something really important? Truth can sometimes be stranger than fiction so be as ready for that truth as you can be at all times.
So much of public school is disciplining the children and trying to keep order nowadays, and not so much about teaching/learning. Frankly, some of the teachers aren't the most knowledgable and informed either. When will public school become officially a daycare center and stop teaching everything?
I think it is very sad that people feel this way.
We did not even call it 'cursive' or 'long hand'. it was merely called 'writing', 'handwriting' and sometimes 'penmanship' referring to the writer's level of excellence in forming the letters, and to the beautiful look of the person's handwriting.
Year after year, we spent hours learning to form letters esthetically; also in doing exercises like 'oval-strokes' and 'push-and-pulls' which gave us the right feel, ease, and actions to form the letters.
I am stunned to find out how ignorant young people are today about writing. One actually said that I should have been a doctor because she could not read my perfectly formed writing. I have had boyfriends who could not read heartfelt letters I wrote to them!!
There are precious journals, diaries and letters to be read, but people will lose all this knowledge and acquaintance with human experience because they will not be able to decipher what is just ordinary writing!!
Writing in 'cursive' slows you down and helps you to absorb what you are learning. It is an art, and makes the writer an artist of a sort. This in itself is valuable.
I learned to type and it was painful. So the young should learn 'cursive' writing and start calling it what it is: 'writing' so it doesn't sound like a freakish thing.
As long as they can sign their name in cursive and write in basic print I don't see a point. Yes it would be nice to know, however knowing it serves no purpose really. Even if all technology failed, as long as they know print they will be fine. I'd rather them spend that semester on something else. Like teaching our children real history.
I'm all for our children knowing all the basic things another answerer mentioned like reading a map and knowing how to do math. However cursive itself is an extra. Print is the need to know.
I totally agree! There are so many new things to be learned that children of yesteryear didn't need to know that some things have to give way to the modern world's new need-to-knows in order for our kids to learn it all. Sports, music, and art, too.
Why is print more needed than cursive? Cursive is more practical, I would think. It's how names are signed, it's more professional-looking, and it's much faster and efficient.
I've never found it faster or more efficient. To this day I am still one of those people who somehow writes in both cursive and print sometimes in the same sentence. I also think it's harder to read if someone doesn't write it neatly. JMO
Computers can't "read" cursive as easily, neither can most people. Also, you can't do math or science equations in cursive--it's in print or Latin characters. Printing is the must-know to move to the future: universally recognized, in my opinion.
It doesn't take long to learn and it is an enjoyable activity. Don't give up on cursive. It is a basic.
JLopera, I haven't given up on it. It's a technology that's on the way out--it has already been supplanted by computers and print. It's the aspect that I am against--just as we don't require students to take Latin or hieroglyphics.
I agree with JLopera. And comparing it to hieroglyphics, Laura--it's just not the same thing. Latin, on the other hand, would be helpful to require, as we would all better understand language. Seriously. All this discussion is interesting!
Increasingly people use cell phones and computers. Now a separate cell phone message language is being developed that only those who send regular text messages will understand. All these do not mean that children need not learn language in the traditional way.
They must be exposed to the traditional ways of learning to read and write.
For how long do we teach kids archaic knowledge as a required part of the curriculum? I know cursive, and can't read German newspapers from 125 years ago, nor can I read my grandma's Germanic cursive, for example. Exposure I favor, but not mastery.
Don't people still have to write in cursive to sign their names? I think writing in cursive is a valuable skill, as it's much faster than printing. I have seen students painstakingly print, and it takes forever. I take notes at meetings, and I can fly writing in cursive, as the pen just flows.
As an English teacher, I always have students freewrite on pen and paper to get ideas flowing. The computer just isn't the same for freeing up ideas. And writing in print is cumbersome to the process, as well. I was shocked when I heard some schools weren't teaching kids to write in cursive anymore. Do we want our students to be ignorant and not even be able to read things given to them in cursive?
To put it simply, I think the idea of no longer teaching cursive is nuts.
Victoria, thanks for answering. My question was inspired by a local school announcement they are doing away with cursive writing; it is refreshing to hear not all teachers think it is is useless.
For cursive proponents: what percent of the things you READ daily are actually in cursive outside of a classroom setting? Street signs, cereal boxes, prescription bottles, books, newspapers... <1% for me. It's technological. And perhaps generation
Not "pro or con" argument. Just an answer (not the %) - I write & read my own diaries. There is no way I use a computer for that. Plus all of my previous correspondence. & Prescriptions! Again - just an example, not an argument.
I never saw the point of learning two forms of writing (cursive and print) and I still don't as an adult. Unless one is studying calligraphy for a hobby or profession, I don't see the point in learning cursive writing in addition to print. Ultimately it's a personal choice: I don't think kids should be forced to learn two ways of achieving the same message.
Laura, I have always found writing cursive superior, faster and allows for more artistic penmanship than the print children are forced to learn early on.
I do too, bethperry. If they're going to choose one, it should be cursive. It's faster, more artistic and creative. I write extremely fast I cursive; it's great for taking notes at meetings . . . or whatever.
My dad was a fine artist, so my cursive was always held to too-high standards by teachers: I could never meet them and was shamed. I can't read my own cursive now. I sign my name, print, & touch-type fast when I am feeling creative. Works for me.
Laura, don't feel bad! My cursive penmanship became awful after I learned short-hand, lol. But I still much, much prefer it over printing.
bethperry, where were you when I was failing Handwriting in 5th grade? :-) Thanks!! I no longer feel badly about that, but growing up, typing then computers became my 1st choice for fast creative output. Shorthand should be taught... that's an idea.
It saddens me to see the art of handwriting as well as old fashioned letter writing become things of the past. to me, there is no substitute for a beautiful handwritten note. That being said, here is a take from Psychology Today, " . . . scientists are discovering that learning cursive is an important tool for cognitive development, particularly in training the brain to learn “functional specialization,” that is capacity for optimal efficiency. In the case of learning cursive writing, the brain develops functional specialization that integrates both sensation, movement control, and thinking. Brain imaging studies reveal that multiple areas of brain become co-activated during learning of cursive writing of pseudo-letters, as opposed to typing or just visual practice."
Thank you. I found this cool too. It seems to be much the same as doing tasks w/ classical music. We often listened to it in occupational therapy classes when I was in college.
That's beautifully said! When I want to get my thoughts flowing, I write. I don't think, "I'm going to write in cursive." It's just how I write. I wouldn't even dream of writing in archaic print. Cursive does make the words flow!
I agree! Writing in my journal is so much more relaxing than typing on the keyboard even though they are both expressive. There is just something special about the flowing curves and loops.
Yes, yes and yes! Thank you for the wisdom of this comment. 'Cursive' connects you to yourself and to your own thoughts. It should not be allowed to become a thing of the past.
Of course cursive writing is not necessary for the school children in my opinion. Most of the adults won't follow this type of writing since it is hard to follow throughout their life. Many school children may loose their natural and free style of writing when they are forced to cursive writing.
I believe it to be very important, I personally know of 2 students that graduated the 12th grade and not only are they not good at writing cursive, their understanding it needs help.
I think it is becoming less and less important as we move forward by typing on more and more technological devices. Cursive handwriting is probably becoming quaint just like handwritten notes. I think it is coming down to choice. Most students today choose to type on the computer rather than write out something. Personally, I don't think it matters or is that important anymore.
What about signing their names or writing in class? Printing takes forever. Or being able to read people's writing? It seems to be a skill they need.
I agree, Victoria Lynn. And in a society that seems geared for whatever is faster and more convenient one would think cursive would be quite valued!
Sorry, I respectfully have to agree with suzettenaples 100% on this one. Something has to "give" in the curriculums to make time to learn modern technology, besides. Either that or lengthen the school day.
Sadly, it is not important anymore. My high school did not require cursive at all, and actually encouraged print as it was easier for the teachers to read.
Also, in this say and age of technology, nobody writes anymore anyway! Well, for the most part.
the50marathons17, I am a novelist, and when I get an idea at night find it easier to jot down my thoughts than run to the comp and bring up my word program. So yeah, I think it comes in handy.
Cursive is faster to WRITE than print, but print is faster to READ than cursive. Usually, people want to read quickly. Street signs, books, forms--formal output is print rather than cursive, except for personal correspondence (non-urgent reading).
I think it is very important, but then I think art and music are,too.
I agree with Victoria Lynn's answer and everyone else who agrees that cursive writing is and always will be a very valuable skill that everyone should know how to do. To me it's a fundamental skill and the basis of writing. I think it's a no brainer. I vote yes and up to cursive writing, otherwise how can handwriting be analyzed? It's your John Hancock!
Fundamental..I agree!! The world will change for the worse if people stop learning to write. Printing is for books. Cursive is for people. It's human.
Yeah! I didn't think about the handwriting analysis. That's another great point. Dang, we need to start some kind of petition--a movement to keep cursive writing!!!
Handwriting analysis is done just as easily on print as it is cursive. Haven't you ever watched CSI or Bones? It's really quite simple and unscientific and I'm pretty sure not admissible in most courts so it's a moot point.
I love Bones, but I've never noticed their analyzing handwriting in print. I think I'm more interested in watching Booth. LOL!
Victoria Lynn, I'm with you--Booth is worth watching! LOL
Here's an interesting article on handwriting analysis and the law--and job applications [which say "please print", BTW]: http://www.hollinslegal.com/2011/08/17/ … and_the_l/
When you learn to write cursive, you learn to read cursive. A number of people expressed the importance of history in their responses. Can you imagine taking your child to the National Archives in Washington D.C. and them not be able to read the Declaration of Independence because it's written cursive?
I own a copy of the Dec. of Ind. and it's barely legible because it uses archaic cursive forms I wasn't taught. I read the printed transcription that came with it when I need a quote fast. Learning all forms of cursive over millennia isn't practical.
I think everybody mentioned all benefits of learning to write in cursive. I just do it because my handwriting is so beautiful! (We must lighten up! Humour is good for all of us).
I think one aspect of writing in cursive is overlooked - cursive writing helps developing and KEEPING your fine motor skills. The brain apparently needs those for being and staying sharp.
So, for those who say "Why in hell do I have to study and really be able to speak another language fluently?" The answer is "to really delay your Alzheimer's for about five years". Sounds like a good reason to me. But I have already learned another language.
Writing in cursive... I guess I am old enough to have sailed that stage without much argument, at that time cursive writing was not optional. I like it and I do have a beautiful... (hint: you can laugh here a little bit). But I really do have a legible writing as I hate to go through other people terrible handwritten mess. Doctors are famous for... My ex-husband was the only person whose lectures I never borrowed if I needed to copy them - I used to joke that all his letters looked the same.
But I again, I would argue - think about the onset of Alzeimer's - write by hand and preferably learn to write in cursive with the other hand (non-dominant). A page every day. And here I cannot brag that my handwriting is...
However, how this dilemma will turn out historically, we don't know...
I have heard that calligraphy has gained some momentum...
Calligraphy is an ART. Who knows? Maybe it is all temporary "denialism" (Do we have to? What for? It is so old.. It is archaic...)
Until then, as always everyone makes his own choice... Schools are what they are, they don't make much sense to me...
Taking French for a year and a half, all my son does is draws... Let's say to develop and perfect his fine motor skills.
All I am trying to do is just lighten up. Like a linguist who describes rather than a teacher who prescribes.
Very good points! As for being a requirement, though... Like learning a foreign language or playing in the band, I still think it should be an elective. Fine motor skills can be developed many ways besides cursive: piano, carving, crafts, drawing,...
my teenage daughter isn't writing in cursive at all. I was just wondering whether her teacher ever taught her how to write cursive. Back in my days, we were FORCED to write in cursive writings in ink pen, not ballpoint pen.
These days, kids are sure lucky.
Nowadays (in my son's school, they are not allowed to write in pen. Pencil only - and it is Grade 5.) They don't leave enough space between lines - and everything is a mess. How can anyone study like that? The result is as messy as the method.
I feel that this is very important. I was forced to learn cursive and now I appreciate it everyday. Answering questions on a test are faster in cursive. A mix of print of cursive create more beautiful handwriting in my opinion.
by Christin Sander 8 years ago
Should Cursive writing still be taught in school?My 15 year old son can barely sign his name in cursive and does all his writing in print and I find it maddening that kids aren't taught how to write well. His writing is like reading that of an inattentive 5 year old, yet he's extremely bright...
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