Saturday, January 28, 2012

So Long to Signatures: The Dying Art of Cursive

I was going through my notebook where I write blog post ideas and such and I found an old topic that I never got a chance to write about.

Apparently, cursive writing is no longer a required part of the school core curriculum as stated on the Common Core State Standards for English. The majority of the U.S. has already adopted the standard.

Public schools can still teach cursive but students are expected to be keyboard-proficient.

My question is: if those who don't already know how to write cursive aren't taught how to write it (21st century children) then what motivation would they have to learn how to read it? Can you imagine an entire generation unable to read a simple document hand-written in cursive?

What about the individuality of having your own recognizable, unique penmanship?

It saddens me that even school officials would refer to cursive as a dying art.

It's like saying "I don't have to be good at spelling, that's what auto-correct is for."

While it has been deemed inefficient and a waste of time to teach an antiquated art form, a recent study suggests that writing by hand increases brain activity and memory of concepts.


Editor's Note:
I'm not at all surprised that cursive is being phased out of the public school system.
I still remember when I was in high school, there were budget cuts that eliminated the animation and film program --- in an ART SCHOOL. So all of us who went to this specialized high school strictly for these programs were bumped into commercial art and photography instead. I've attended private schools from pre-k all the way up to junior high - and when I transitioned into a public high school, I realized then how much more advanced my level of study had been. As a freshman I was taking senior level classes because I had already covered everything else.

It's essentially what happened to 3d animation replacing the "old-school hand drawn on paper and cells" process. During art school one of the first required classes was traditional animation. Why? Because not only did it teach us the basics and foundation, it gave us a greater appreciation for it once we moved into the digital phase of the curriculum. Many of the skills learned from the traditional skills were transferrable to the digital one.

This is especialy disconcerting to me because I'm a writer as well. While I compose a lot of my stories on my laptop or tablet, I still spend a lot of time writing stories in longhand.

I take all of my notes down for school in longhand as well, as do all of my classmates. Some of us use laptops / tablets in conjunction with it but not as a primary method of jotting notes.

While I agree that students' curriculum should keep in pace with modern technology and prepare them for the future, learning cursive can only further benefit them overall in their pursuit of education and future endeavors and should not be viewed otherwise.

Mixing the old with the new would be the optimal solution to this and not just making one completely obsolete.

Speaking of obsolete, here's one of my personal favorite episode of The Twiilight Zone. The Obsolete Man.

Part 1

Part 2

               USA Today  ]

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