Cursive Handwriting: Is it Still Necessary to Teach?

    November 15, 2013

Think about it. When was the last time you wrote in cursive other than to pen your signature? With the universal use of computers, smartphones and plain old print writing – is cursive handwriting dead? And if it’s hardly used by the adults who learned it way back when, should we bother to continue to teach it in schools today? Or should we spend that time instead teaching students how to type on keyboards?

The cursive handwriting debate rages on. A group called the Common Core believes changes in the curriculum need to be made, more time and attention towards higher testing standards and keyboard skills should be mandated, in lieu of teaching cursive writing. Morgan Polikoff, who is an Assistant Professor of K-12 policy and leadership, at the University of Southern California contends, “If you just stop and think for a second about what are the sorts of skills that people are likely to be using in the future, it’s much more likely that keyboarding will help students succeed in careers and in school than it is that cursive will.”

However, the flip side deems learning cursive still a necessity. Idaho State Rep. Linden Batemen argues, “Modern research indicates that more areas of the human brain are engaged when children use cursive handwriting than when they keyboard. We’re not thinking this through. It’s beyond belief to me that states have allowed cursive to slip from the standards.”

Now, seven states want to make sure that cursive stays in the curriculum: California, Kansas, Indiana, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Carolina and Utah. Perhaps those states agree with Bateman’s argument that “The Constitution of the United States is written in cursive.” The Representative believes that if students do not learn cursive, they will have issues in the future interpreting historical documents.

People’s reactions on Twitter have been mixed:

Tell us what you think. Is teaching cursive still a necessary part of education?

Image Via Wikipedia Commons