The Art of Writing

Posted on July 8, 2011

16


Cursive.

As you’ve all heard by now, Indiana will become the 41st state to no longer require the mastery of cursive handwriting.

You won’t see your first or second grader coming home to practice those elegant swirly loops that remind you of hanging vines or aeronautical stunts.

There are plenty of arguments against keeping cursive in the schools.  One argument is that since everything is printed in block letters, no one needs to be able to read or write cursive anymore.  They also argue that since everything is typed instead of written, there is no need to teach cursive anymore.

I didn’t say there are good arguments.  I said there are plenty of arguments.

There are also plenty of arguments in favor of keeping cursive.

There is evidence that teaching cursive increases neuromuscular development and fine motor skills  in children.  There is evidence that learning cursive increases language acquisition and reading competency.

One argument is also the importance of historical information.  How is a student to recognize important historical language in their original form if they don’t know what shapes the letters represent?

There are so many misreadings of the Constitution that imagine how many more there will be if people no longer know how to read cursive!

Yet, is that realistic?

The invention of the typewriter also had critics pondering the death of penmanship.  If people were typing everything, would handwriting disappear?

That was 100 years ago.  Yet, we still write notes everywhere, and we still continue to use cursive.

Penmanship isn’t quite dead.  It’s merely a flesh wound.

Just go into any office supply store and take a look at how many pens and pencils are on sale.  Just ask Kokkiree who is a professed pen snob.

Yes, penmanship is alive and well.  I have stacks and stacks of journals in which I write my ideas for blogs posts or stories or lesson plans.

Yes, just imagine if penmanship had died in the past.

Thomas Jefferson may have penned “FYI…FU Brits” on the top of his documents.

John Hancock would’ve tweeted “#Declaration: LOL Just pwned that parchment.”

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