Monday, September 12, 2011

Schools debate: Is cursive writing worth teaching?

by Waldirene Biernath

Cursive vs. typing: Which should schools teach?
The future of cursive writing is in the headlines. Teaching cursive handwriting will no longer be part of the required curriculum in schools in the United States. Over the next three years, school districts will be in transition to new state standards, according to Patrick Gallaway, associate director of communications with the Ohio Department of Education. “The focus under the new Common Core standards will be keyboarding skills”, he said.

Source: Google image
Laptops, BlackBerries, iPads as technology improves, there's at least one constant:  the devices all have keyboards or keypads.   Because of technology, schools are putting more emphasis on teaching keyboarding.  That means cursive writing instruction could become expendable. Some schools in the U.S. are adopting a new language arts curriculum in which cursive writing will be evaluated.  If research shows interest in cursive writing is fading, it may be time to make a change.  Other school districts agree that it's a decision that cannot be made quickly.

Last year, Wisconsin and Illinois adopted the Common Core Standards.  Its Language Arts curricula calls for more attention to be put on keyboard efficiency and less time on learning cursive. Forty four of the fifty American states have adopted the Common Core Standards Program. 

Cursive is still widely taught in U.S. public and private elementary schools, according to a 2007 nationwide study on handwriting instruction by Vanderbilt University. It surveyed a random sampling of about 200 teachers in grades one through three in all 50 states. Ninety percent of the teachers who responded said their schools required instruction in handwriting. Of those who taught it, half of second grade teachers and 90% of third grade teachers offered instruction in cursive.

Give your opinion:
Do you think cursive is important for children to learn or should the time be spent teaching other subjects?


Headlines (noun): the title of a newspaper story that is printed in large letters;

expendable (adjective): used for describing someone or something that you are willing to get rid of, lose, or allow to be killed because they are no longer useful or necessary;

fading (verb to fade):  disappear gradually.

The Common Core State Standards is a U.S. education initiative that provides the curricula of what students are expected to learn. Something like our PCNs.

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