My cursive writing is not pretty. In fact, it’s sort of a printing/cursive mishmash that gets a lot of raised eyebrows. (We editors handwrite notes to the artists here at The Mailbox, and I regularly get called to translate what I wrote.) Many times, I’ve thought that learning cursive, particularly in this day and age, is pointless. In fact, teaching cursive anymore is fairly uncommon in a lot of schools. But this was me not thinking things through. I had forgotten that not being able to write cursive usually means you also can’t read cursive.
Do you remember when you were little and you couldn’t read cursive? As an adult, it causes a bit more of a problem. Take a gander at this article from The Chronicle of Higher Education. It makes some excellent points.
Do you work at a school that still teaches cursive? How do you feel about teaching cursive?
3 thoughts on “A Cursive Crisis”
It surprises me that districts, including the one I live in, are no longer teaching cursive. I taught it to a class of excited 3rd graders 9 years ago, and to four classes of kindergartners since 2010. The five-year-olds produced just as “pretty” a product as the eight-year-olds; their natural writing movements mimic cursive even before they begin school. Today’s brain research supports handwriting – from the fingertips, up the arms, to the brain. Beginning readers learn quicker and easier as they write the sounds they are hearing.
Kim, I love your handwriting! It’s fun, it’s pretty, it’s legible. I notice that your signature is more cursive than your regular writing; we all need to sign our name in cursive, and for identity theft reasons, I intentionally use a fast, sloppy signature.
I electively teach my students cursive. I tend to look at the “big picture”, and train my students to be aware of how this moment impacts life beyond this moment. Cursive activates a part of the human brain that is critical to quickly and more easily engage creativity without boundaries, memorization, and conscious memory retention/recall…which can all apply to the required academic subjects, as well as to life in general. The students enjoy it, thinking it’s like learning a secret language code that allows them to express their own personal flair, since cursive styles are as unique as the individuals expressing them.