To me, there is a certain beauty in a handwritten document. There is a certain romanticism in a letter, and power in the ability to read historical documents such as the Constitution, or simply being able to sign your name. I happen to believe that good penmanship helps to teach kids discipline and to take pride in something. It also helps develop the fine motor skills children will need for other tasks in life.
In my conversations with parents regarding whether they think it’s important to teach cursive in our schools, many are shocked to learn that their children will most likely not be taught this lost art. The majority of them have agreed that this is unacceptable.
I took a poll on Facebook and asked parents what they thought and the results were overwhelming in support of teaching children cursive. There is a difference between what is known as a “signature” and printing your name. One parent commented,
I just got my daughter, at age 14, a debit card to teach her all about banking. She is so embarrassed when she has to sign her name because it looks like a 4 yr old signed. She says she feels so stupid! I bought her a third grade cursive book and a white board with the lines ( dotted lines too) so she can learn. We think it shows ignorance. She feels the same way.
If so many parents feel that good penmanship and learning cursive are important to a person’s development, why are our schools doing away with it? Hillsdale College did an online course entitled, “A Proper Understanding of K-12 Education: Theory and Practice” which featured associate professor of education Daniel Coupland explaining that today’s technology is a definite culprit. He said:
I understand the argument that we are moving much more in a technological direction and we are using handheld devices and computers in order to express those ideas, but I am concerned about the loss of other things connected with handwriting…even of the development of the motor skills that kids develop by actually holding a pencil and actually being able to write. In addition to that, I think it’s a great learning tool as well, in that if you have to form the letters with your hands…because there’s some kind of connection with using your hands to form those letters. It cements it in your mind a lot better. I understand that we’re moving in a particular direction in terms of technology but I mourn the loss of those things if we move completely away from it.
Let’s not forget that handwriting is not included in the failing Common Core standards, either.
Should public schools teach cursive? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment.