Cursive or keyboard writing?? Why not learn both?
Did you know that some school districts and states are dropping handwriting (cursive) from required learning in grade schools? Hard to believe but it’s happening. When the new set of standards for public schools were drafted (called Common Core), penmanship was left out of the courses preferred. Consequently, students may not be taught how to write long-hand. Several states have moved to keep penmanship in the curriculum.
The reasoning behind dropping cursive as a requirement in K-12 is that there’s an increasing need for children to master the keyboard. Some argue that it is much more likely that keyboarding will help students advance in their careers than knowing how to write the alphabet.
It is true that close to 95% of American teens use the Internet and the number who text and use smartphones has increased over the years. This is not a bad thing since the Internet, social media and cell phones encourage creativity and personal expression. But losing the ability to write long-hand also means one will be at a loss to read someone’s handwriting. This could impair the ability to study letters, journals and other historical documents. What about the simple act of sending someone a birthday card or handwritten note? Or even more important, signing your name?
In spite of this trend, a national handwriting contest for K-8 students goes on. Brady McDonough, a third-grade Arizona student, stated he wants to be a professional football player or a golfer. “I am going to need good handwriting to sign autographs,” he explained.
What do you think of this change in elementary education? Is it necessary to know how to write or be able to read cursive? Maybe students should know both in order to excel in a changing world.