There’s beauty. There’s (scientifically proven) character. There’s nuances covering a wide range of human emotions connected to each pen stroke when we write that cannot be duplicated by text or email. Yes, texting and email and other electronic text/document communications are here to stay… but the usefulness of teaching printing and cursive writing in school is not yet out of date.

From That’s Smart! How to Improve Learning Habits, 2nd Ed. (2013)

When I heard a few months back that cursive writing was being taken out of school curricula, my first reaction was, “That’s dumb!” I’m heartened I’m not the only one who thinks so:

All American history is recorded in cursive….So I guess if our power grid goes down in some unforeseeable future, there will be no way to record what happens. History will be lost and our only form of written communication will be cave drawings, because that’s all we’ll be capable of. What idiot thought that THIS was a good idea?!

From a Google+ post by Keri Generalao

We are told students don’t have to learn cursive writing anymore. I suppose they don’t. I suppose the only skill students have to learn anymore these days is how to fill in little circles with a pencil, making the mark dark.

For many students, cursive is becoming as foreign as ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. In college lecture halls, more students take notes on laptops and tablet computers than with pens and notepads. Responding to handwritten letters from grandparents in cursive is no longer necessary as they, too, learn how to use email, Facebook and Skype.

From “Cursive Handwriting Disappearing from Public Schools,” The Washington Post, April 4, 2013 by T. R. Shapiro and Sarah L. Voisin.

I don’t blame teachers for this. Yes, there are bad teachers, just like there are bad doctors, bad lawyers, and bad police officers. But for the most part what gets taught—or not taught—in schools is out of the teachers’ hands. School curricula these are based on National Standards devised by “academic experts” (who probably never set foot in a classroom), bureaucrats and—ugh—politicians. Then when (not if, unfortunately) the poor kids come out unable to read at an age-appropriate level, or add 18 + 6 without a calculator, or not knowing when the War of 1812 was fought, well, it’s those lazy teachers’ fault—and their darned union!

While the education world is all abuzz about so-called 21st century skills like collaboration, problem solving and critical thinking, research suggests that we might do well to add a strong dose of the 19th century to our children’s schooling. Here are a few old-school skills that are still worth cultivating. Source: Time [Magazine]

From NEA Today, Nov. 13, 2012

I can go on for hours about this, just as I can go on for hours about “what use” cursive writing remains, even in our high-tech age, and why it should still be taught in public schools. I can point out how cursive writing is a form of artistic self-expression—another “useless” subject being systematically removed from school curricula; I can point out how cursive writing binds us to our history—to our nation’s foundational documents, all written in longhand. Wouldn’t it be a shame not to be able to read the original Declaration of Independence, or the Constitution, or Abraham Lincoln’s first draft of the Emancipation Proclamation?

I agree with Keri: What idiot thought this was a good idea?

Dennis

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