06 May 2013

Need for Cursive

Source: Evelyn Saenz

The Utah State Office of Education is looking at adding to their writing standards and have been looking for input from teachers and community members here. As a teacher in Utah I felt the need to share my thoughts about the subject of cursive instruction. Below is what I submitted:
"Cursive writing, old-fashioned as it may appear, is a valuable part of our societal structure. We are required to sign our names in cursive for important legal documentation as well as formal writing. Without the proper instruction and practice in the early years of writing education, students won't be able to successfully use cursive, both in reading and writing, for their own societal responsibilities and duties. As an educator, I have felt very strongly of this importance. I teach 4th grade and we complete a cursive packet at the start of every year and upon its completion, I require the students to do all their writing, except for Spelling activities and tests, in cursive. By requiring the daily practice of cursive writing, most of my students improve their cursive writing skills to very high levels of proficiency. Not every child will leave my class with beautiful cursive writing skills, but not every adult has beautiful writing skills either, cursive or print. I plan to continue my teaching of cursive and requiring its use in my classroom as long as I teach, regardless of what the State Core requires."
I know there has been a lot of debate about handwriting and especially cursive, but I feel it is still a needed skill. In the future I can see the need for cursive to change as identification technologies advance and then see it become more of an art form. When that day occurs, I will treat cursive as a part of the arts, but I will still teach it.

What are your thoughts on the handwriting and cursive debate? Should we still be teaching handwriting or should we just leave it behind?

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