How often do we actually use cursive writing these days? And if we don’t write incursive, should we continue to teach our children how to? This is one of the biggest questions in our education system today. Many states are eliminating this practice, while others are trying to preserve this slowing fading art. Dr. Vi Supon, tells us is in the article, Cursive Writing: Are It’s Last Days approaching?, “Indicators are that technological advances and state mandated tests, in addition to other variables, are forcing cursive writing to become a casualty of the American educational landscape.”
Some people believe that the historical aspect of cursive writing is one we need to preserve. Before typewriters and computers, everything had to be hand written. It wasn’t just a form of communication in the past; many saw it as an indicator to a person’s level of education. In the past penmanship was a separate grade on report cards and students had to spend 45 minutes everyday on handwriting. Today, students might get 10 – 15 minutes a few days a week for handwriting instruction, if any. (Carpenter, 2007). Teachers today are spending more time on keyboarding skills and are teaching it at a much younger age than before.
Another concern that is addressed in this debate is students who have learning disabilities and students that use English as a second language. It is harder for these students to read and write, so teachers tend to have the students use print or block form. The block form helps to better enable translations, helps with comprehension and concept attainments. When they understand what they are reading, they are better able to communicate effectively.
It also helps the students focus on their compositions and not worry about their handwriting, which leads to a more logical thought process and the mechanical components are more likely in place. The block form also makes reading and assessing students work easier for the teachers to grade. And with them spending less time on deciphering writing, they are able to spend less time on grading and more time teaching. Teachers today have more content to teach and need to concentrate on the requirements for the state tests.
After reading this article I asked myself the same questions I first asked you. Having school-age children myself, I realized how much school has changed since I myself was in school. I was always taught when composing a paper to first put all your thoughts on paper and then compose into a rough draft and then final draft. All of these were always suppose to be in cursive writing. After we had our written final and the teacher looked at it, we had to type out our papers, either on a typewriter or on the computer. I always struggled with this due to the fact that I have awful handwriting.
But my kids don’t seem to have any issue because their writings are done on the computer the first time and they don’t have the anxiety of how their handwriting looks. Having recently returned to school myself, I have found that a lot of the teaching methods have changed. And even though it is an adjustment, it is more practical. Thinking back I realized how much extra work I did by writing and then rewriting, followed by typing. And if I wouldn’t have spent quite so much time on trying to get my paper to look nicer, maybe I would have gotten a better grade on the report for the mechanics of the paper.
Without I doubt, this debate will likely continue for quite some time. The historical, practical and essential aspects still raise many questions in today’s society. With our youth becoming more technolically advanced, we will more than likely continue to see other changes to our education system. Unfortunately, there will be other casualties of our changing educational landscape. But only time will tell what the outcomes will be.
Carpenter, C. Cursive Writing: Are It’s Last Days Approaching? Supon, Vi Cursive Writing: Are It’s Last Days Approaching?