Should cursive handwriting be taught in school anymore?


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In my sophomore year of high school my Mom told me she wanted me to take the elective class of typewriting, on a typewriter! Why should I take this class I thought.  But I went along with her and took the class. Over 20 years later, I think this is one class that has left me with the skills to function better in the business world. Writing emails, jotting down copywriting, and even as I punch the keys to type this blog post and get my ideas out (Ok, I know I should be writing this with my trusty Tornado)!

Now twenty years later there is a debate over whether or not cursive handwriting should be taught in school anymore, flipping the importance of typing over cursive.  Technology has taken it’s place in our lives and no doubt kids should be equipped to deal with it.  But does that mean we should abandon what were once thought to be important fundamentals such as basic cursive handwriting? One could argue that handwriting is inconvenient, takes longer and now we can recite our thoughts into a microphone and technology will write it for us.Thanks Siri. On the flip side of that argument, writing in cursive is organic and carries a continuous line of thought that flows from brain to hand to pen(cil).  There might be something to be said for slowing down and thoughtfully putting pen to paper…

On Facebook we asked if cursive handwriting should be taught in schools and the ‘yay’s’ outweighed the ‘nays.’

The nay’s said:
“it’s time has passed”
“How’s about we just focus on English and perhaps a little American History”
“If they can spend time learning the latest text code, they can spend time learning a creative way of writing out the entire spelling of those words”

The yay’s said:
“they [students] have a hard time putting their thoughts into words. it is not the best interest of our current or future generations to not give them the tools necessary to fully develop their communication skills”
“Handwriting is a skill we will still need many generations into the future. Otherwise we may end up back to painting in caves.”
“The next thing they won’t teach is proper grammar and spelling. Sentence structure to follow”

We can all agree that technology is here to stay and handwriting will continue to get pushed aside in the hustle and bustle of our lives, but cursive handwriting does have a place in our lives. It is a valuable skill for all generations that stimulates our brains and thought processes, as well as lets us make our own mark as distinctive individuals in ways that a keyboard simply cannot.  Why would we want to deny future generations this experience? I may not be writing this blog post out on a typewriter or even handwriting it in cursive, but I do use these skills and appreciate them on a daily basis. Thanks Mom, you knew best!

6 Comments

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6 responses to “Should cursive handwriting be taught in school anymore?

  1. Maja

    There have been numerous studies showing a direct link between handwriting and improved cognitive abilities, so I am definitely in the “Yay” camp. And it’s fun to write in cursive 🙂

  2. Thank you for writing a blog post about this issue. This is a very important issue that is being overlooked in many schools. The largest economic powers in the world not only require handwriting to be taught, but many still require original script (Germanic) to be taught alongside it. Handwriting is an art and it says a lot about societies.

  3. Richard

    Yes,

    I think writing is becoming a lost art and how are you supposed to express yourself without learning how to write properly?

  4. The distinctive mark of an educated person is in the handwriting they possess. To comment that all handwriting is now a scribble is the cry of the ignorant, that though they are smart enough to operate computers, they are not in any sense educated, just well trained like any other chimp we sent into space. From; No. 615, copper tornado

  5. I have always loved handwriting — and mine used to be so pretty! But now I have a tremor that makes my handwriting look so awful, it breaks my heart

  6. Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an very long comment but after I clicked submit my
    comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyways,
    just wanted to say fantastic blog!

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