Who uses cursive anymore? That’s for old people. This is the mental state of some of the students in the 21st century. As schools in North America have started phasing out the cursive writing lesson for students, there have been enormous amount of debates and discussions on whether the school systems are making the right choice or not.
What is cursive writing anyway?
Cursive, also known as script or handwriting, is a style of writing in which the letters are joined and written in a flowing manner. I remember being taught how to write in cursive in elementary school, and coming from Korean and no english background I found this to be one of the coolest things I have ever seen. Learning the alphabet was hard enough, but learning to write it in cursive reached a new level of challenge. This style of writing is common in doctors notes and is used for the purpose of making writing faster. Cursive writing has been around and used in English before the Norman conquest, and have been extremely popular until technology started changing the way we live.
Why are some schools phasing it out?
With the new technology on computers and the way we process, retain, edit information, most schools in North America have started phasing out their cursive writing skill lessons recently. It’s evident in most lecture halls in university: despite evidence suggesting that taking notes on laptops results in lower exam scores than taking notes by hand, almost all students take notes either on their laptops, tablets, or cellphones. Taking notes by hand is by far too inconvenient and unnecessary with the amount of technological options available nowadays. However, students are not the only ones not using handwriting. Adults and even seniors are getting accustomed to using social media sites such as Facebook, Skype, etc to communicate with each other. Say goodbye to getting handwritten birthday cards from your grandparents! As technology continues to exert more influence now than ever before, school systems are preparing their students for the future by replacing cursive writing lessons with computer and typing lessons instead. Is this a good idea? Is cursive writing a valuable tool in our society?
Yes to cursive!
Here are some reasons as to why I think cursive writing should be taught in schools:
– Develops motor skills. Learning to write in cursive activates a different part of your brain than learning to type or print, this is crucial because early education plays an important role in brain development. As well, children learn to use different hand muscles when learning cursive than print.
– It is a form of art. As more schools are cutting their funding for art programs, it is vital that students get exposed to as many different forms of arts as possible. Cursive writing has the potential to bring out a student’s inner creativity.
– Needed to read historical documents. These documents are mostly written in cursive, and as an important piece of a country’s history, if students cannot read cursive how are they suppose to feel connected?
These are only three reasons out of hundreds. I personally believe that cursive writing is an extremely important skill to master and learn at a young age. Printing is a part of everyone’s daily lives no matter how much technology takes over our world. Some schools have acknowledged their mistakes and have brought back cursive writing, which is a relief. My hope is for other schools to realize the importance of cursive writing and integrate it in their teaching.
In a survey of 612 elementary school teachers in the United States, 67% of them said they plan on teaching cursive in the future. As well, 63% of teachers stated that they think cursive writing skills is important. This shines new light onto this topic where technology is proving to take over the world. What is your opinion? Do you think cursive writing should be taught in schools?
Here is a video on third grade students speaking on their views on cursive writing