I wouldn’t keep beating on this cursive thing so much except that I was bad at it and really hated being forced to deal with it as a kid in school. Between typing and printing, I have not missed cursive for an instant since the moment my teachers stopped requiring me to use it.
So, I studied this article in the Journal & Courier with respect to the justifications offered for continuing cursive instruction even if it was no longer in the curriculum. There is less here than meets the eye. The justifications offered, as I read them are:
Cursive writing and handwriting are ways to do hands-on instruction in the writing process and thinking process and small motor skills. There are many benefits that are research-based for cursive handwriting.
Small motor skills I can understand. The rest just looks like word salad to me. “Ways to do hands-on instruction in the writing process” and “many benefits that are research-based.” But, then, my brain has always had difficulty parsing Education jargon.
Cursive proponents contend that cursive is an unfiltered form of self-expression, a much more personal form of language than typing on a computer keyboard. . . . cursive is a method through which students can demonstrate their individuality. Handwriting is still such a unique quality to each and every (student). . . More of the personality comes out rather than with a keyboard, which you can use to say the same thing but with a little bit of a disconnect because it’s going through the keyboard
Really? Seems to me that, particularly with writing, the words chosen for the expression are far better and more important vehicles for expression of individuality than the method of writing the letters to form those words could ever be. In fact, I would argue, that the method of constructing those letters is almost entirely incidental when compared to the words used for expression, in terms of “demonstrating individuality.” Writing out “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” half a hundred times does very little in terms of allowing one to express one’s personality.
Cursive is an additional way for people to separate themselves and express their thoughts, stylizing the physical appearance of their writing much more than is possible with print or typed characters.
I don’t buy it. Again, the words used are far better vehicles for individualizing expression than the method of constructing those words. And, if you really want to get into flexibility, check out the gazillion fonts and colors and other typographical nuances one can get with computers that aren’t necessarily possible or easy with a pencil and paper. To me, this boils down to, “we used to do it this way; therefore, there must be a reason why it’s a shame we won’t continue to do things this way even if I can’t articulate that reason except in vague generalities.”
Indiana students who do learn cursive may find themselves with a more marketable skill in the future.Those that do still take the time and make the effort, they will stand out even more. If able to master it, it might be a little bit like learning another language in a way.
Permit me to be skeptical that the marketplace is clamoring for cursive.
If you like cursive, super; keep using it. If you think it’s something valuable to teach your child; by all means, teach it. But I don’t see a need to put it alongside math, science, spelling, or grammar as something that a kid needs to know. Golf is difficult, allows for individual style, builds character, and is certainly something that helps someone in the marketplace, but it need not be included in the curriculum. I don’t see a need to elevate cursive either.