July 22, 2011

Just another thing to make me feel old – schools are looking at eliminating cursive from the standard curriculum. They’re not just removing it though; they’re replacing it with more emphasis on typing.

My first reaction was that this is a terrible idea. But I’m probably in the same boat as most people who did learn cursive in school and just think that “back when I was young” everything so much better. But then I thought, how do kids learn to read script (even if it’s a script font) if they never learn to write it? And, possibly more importantly, when did you start learning how to sign your name? Does anyone sign their name without cursive? Others point out that cursive is often faster than printing and the motor skills/aesthetics/individuality developed in learning cursive is incredibly important.

Of course, there’s always the other side of the coin. One of the tumblrs I follow pointed out that this is just progress and cursive is becoming increasingly obsolete and typing is becoming an increasingly relevant skill. Maybe cursive just goes the way of floppy discs and video tapes and dial telephones. Hard to argue with that. My school forced kids to write in cursive – from the time learned it with the dotted middle line to make sure we were doing it just right – until 6th grade. Once we got to middle school – almost everyone switched back to print. I don’t think I’ve written in cursive outside a signature in years.

But my school also forced us into typing classes in 6th grade (ones where we had covers that hid the keyboard so we learned to type without looking). It almost pains me to look at people who “hunt and peck”. What a productivity killer! But these days, kids are going to learn to type and text and all that because they have to in order to communicate with their friends. If you don’t type fast enough, you will be two steps behind the conversation. No kid’s gonna learn cursive on their own.

What do you think – is cursive on the down and out?

One comment

  1. It makes me feel like a moron, but I can barely read cursive. Seriously. Professors who wrote in cursive were my enemy because it took near twice the effort to understand what was written on the board. Min writes in cursive. Drives me crazy.

    I mean, I learned how in school, but I hated it and I never use it unless I’m feeling really bored. Cursive can die in a fire. Good riddance.

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