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Cursive instruction: Should it be in the schools?

Kids need more then just typing skills now though, excel, programming, and other computer skills are needed a lot more. That being said most teachers still teach it just depends on how up to time the kids are with all their subjects, if they need more time with different areas it gets cut from that particular class, or at least thats how i understand it
I learned CAD, HTML, C++ and numerous other computer skills in middle school and high school. Some of them were elective classes, but the basics were introduced in basic computer courses. If you liked an aspect of a certain computer code, you could then take a more advanced class for the elective.

Maybe my school system just offered us more independence in what we wanted to learn outside of math, science, history, literature, and phys ed? Heck, my junior year of high school I was taking both Physics and AP Chemistry, in addition to CAD classes and even a journalism class. In fact, I had to get permission from my Journalism teacher to miss class once a week for one of my science labs (and missed gym once a week for the other lab).

Schools can fit anything in if they're creative enough and get the parents' blessings.
 
I had to learn cursive when I was in school, but I never used it past middle school. Everything is completely done by typing now.

The clinic I work at currently has a major problem with scripts and notes being written, from both our doctors and from other offices, being so illegible that they actually made a rule to call just to double check them.

illegible cursive hand writing is such a horrible thing that I would actually call it a negative skill in one's life. People can at least still read bad print hand writing.

With the laxity of quality in the current education system, I think focus on keyboard proficiency is better in the long run for the kids than having a teacher with chicken scratch hand writing teaching cursive.
 

syngent

Moderator
most places dont let you use cursive handwriting anymore anyway, all forms you have to fill out are "please print", and a lot of work places are print only because of that Myosin, id image that had a lot to do with it as well, short of writing personal letters, or journals cursive hand writing doesnt really have much of a place anymore.

This was asked a few months ago, and much how we look at scripts like copperplate, or spencerian as art, regular cursive handwriting is almost a calligraphy at this point, its more form then function now
 
My kids were taught basic cursive in both Philly and Suburbs schools. After the initial teaching they encourage them to keep doing it but don't make a fuss if they start printing.
To be honest, if they have the time then fine. If not I'd rather they focussed on the curriculum.
And if you feel really strongly, then you do what all parents should do (but only sometimes do er....do) and that is teach your kids how in your own time. Goes for any subject, whether it be arts, science, language or handwriting.
There's a lot more to know these days than when you were a kid. They're also not allowed to beat the subjects into kids. Something's got to give.
 
I do feel it should stay in schools. The ability to read cursive is a must. Many important documents such as the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights are written in script and will always be relevent to our children.
It's not just that, since after all, unless you distrust a transcript of these historic documents, they will always be available in one form or another. What I would hate to lose is the ability to read old documents that haven't been transcribed. For example, I've read family documents from the 19th century, of interest to me if not the general public. I'd assume that I could read letters and journals in reasonably good handwriting from any period when modern English was spoken. It's strange to me that a 20 year old today might need to take her grandmother's diary from the 1970s to an "expert" to be deciphered.

On the other hand, I suspect that for a very long time to come, people with interests like this will succeed in teaching themselves to read cursive on their own, and some will teach themselves to write competently. Even though I have a strong pro cursive bias, it's perfectly possible to be a literate, indeed well educated, person without it. There are other things about current public school curricula that bother me much more, but this isn't the place for that rant.
 
While I personally never handwrite anything anymore, I learned cursive in school, and for that matter calligraphy as well (several styles). But the latter was in art class, not English. I think it is necessary to continue to teach it since there will always be some need for handwriting, even if it is just to write a card to a girlfriend or wife. Printing just doesn't cut it on these occasions.
 
I am a fourth grade teacher. Cursive is taught in third grade, then reinforced in fourth grade. I have always taught it. However, my principal has told me not to waste class time teaching it! She told me it isn't part of the core curriculum, and it isn't assessed on the state test, so we shouldn't waste time on it. (She says the same thing about spelling, but that is another issue.). I refuse to drop cursive or spelling from the curriculum. I think both are part of effective written communication, and cursive is part of our culture.
 

syngent

Moderator
I am a fourth grade teacher. Cursive is taught in third grade, then reinforced in fourth grade. I have always taught it. However, my principal has told me not to waste class time teaching it! She told me it isn't part of the core curriculum, and it isn't assessed on the state test, so we shouldn't waste time on it. (She says the same thing about spelling, but that is another issue.). I refuse to drop cursive or spelling from the curriculum. I think both are part of effective written communication, and cursive is part of our culture.
Thats the problem, most view cursive as not being part of our culture, myself included. Until i came into this part of the Forum i had not used cursive writing for about 10 years, When i do use it now its always for personal matters as there is no official reasons in life to ever use it, look how many times we have to recommend members to start a journal or write letters to fellow members just as an excuse to use it in their lives. I think the school system looks at it much like the slide rule, and abacus, calculators wiped out any need for them in most sociaties and thus they are not taught with them anymore. Cursive handwriting has been wiped away for the most part by the typewriter and now even more so with computers and Email

It really is a shame to watch something like that happen in a single lifetime but it has happened, aside from a persons signature most lives will ever have to write with cursive, Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers, all the way down to someone starting out with a paper route never need anything more then printing at best these days.

Although I do find the spelling to be a huge oddity as im sure bad spelling can very much cost you a Job and is required in many levels of a professional enviroment, Im sure that drives teachers all the way up the ladder right into college or university nuts. Although with spell check most of the spelling is covered but not all
 
There are only so many hours in the school day, every topic you add means another has to be dropped. I'll sacrifice cursive in a heartbeat if it means music, art and PE don't get the axe.
 
Spelling is critical.

Cursive is irrelevant. What does it do, apart from make text less legible? My boss writes something that is essentially a long wiggly line, with an occasional dot above it (he's an English graduate). My handwriting may not be as fast, but I'd rather you could make sense of it.

(We've discussed this before, in a number of different threads. I went into details in this one)
 
To me, cursive writing is artistic expression, not anything essential. I think that's why it will be dropped entirely from school curriculums much sooner than later. Poor handwriting, cursive and printing, has always been a problem, which is why the uniformity of a keyboard will win.
 
I am a fourth grade teacher. Cursive is taught in third grade, then reinforced in fourth grade. I have always taught it. However, my principal has told me not to waste class time teaching it! She told me it isn't part of the core curriculum, and it isn't assessed on the state test, so we shouldn't waste time on it. (She says the same thing about spelling, but that is another issue.). I refuse to drop cursive or spelling from the curriculum. I think both are part of effective written communication, and cursive is part of our culture.
Spelling? Wow! That seems a stretch to me. I'm glad you have the courage to stand up to that though.
 
Not wanting cursive because some people don't use it today is a bit like getting rid of history because it's not "forward looking," or PE because kids "should get their exercise after school," and so on.

Research has shown that writing stimulates the mind in ways that keyboards and screens do not, people are more creative when they write instead of typing. It's also been shown that people remember things better when they write their notes. I've proven that to be true. I may never look at my notes again, but I'll remember things better than if I didn't take notes, no matter how intently I listen.

Is cursive attractive? Is it relaxing? Is it fast? The answer to all three is, "It can be." :biggrin1: However, I think the most pressing reason for teaching our kids cursive is that it makes them more effective and creative. Everybody's job involves some level of creativity.
 
I do think it should be taught in schools, but it should be taught thoroughly. My cursive wasn't great when I left school and it's taken a lot of work now to get it so it's legible and I can write at a reasonable speed. For me at least, it's now way quicker than printing and there are so many instances where I can't type at work.

It seems to me that everyone I know of a generation or two older has excellent cursive. It's well worthwhile when properly taught, but the half-hearted affair I got was wasted. Like anything else in life, if it's worth doing, it's worth doing well.
 

Toothpick

Needs milk and a bidet!
Moderator
How would anyone apply their signature to anything? When you sign a document that becomes your unique identifier. Would it be acceptable to print your name when buying a car? a house?

I think i'll test this out. Next time I have to sign something I'll print my name. I'll report back.
 
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