Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Cursive no longer deserves a seat at the table...

If you're a current practicing educator, you with almost certainty learned how to write cursive in school. And, I may be going out on a limb here, but you probably don't use cursive too often in your everyday life.

Nonetheless, we continue to teach cursive in schools all around the world and there are countless stories of schools trying to remove cursive from the curriculum that resulted in a community uproar.

You'll hear things like:

But how will kids ever be able to sign their name if they don't know how to write cursive? (is printing a name really that bad?)

How will they write a check if they can't write cursive? (do people still use checks?)

What about those older documents that were written in cursive... how will they ever be able to read them? (we should be teaching hieroglyphics too then...)

And many other reasons... many of which seem frivolous and really unnecessary.

But I ask why... what's our fixation on this outdated and no longer relevant skill?

I mean, even the Common Core State Standards don't include cursive, so obviously it can't be that valuable for our kids...

Sure, cursive offers benefits beyond simply being able to write cursive. Fine motor skills and spacial awareness are added benefits, but aren't there many other things kids could do that also assist in these other areas? We could instead have kids play Wii tennis and not only work on fine motor skills, but also the gross motor skills with the added benefits of physical movement. I don't know how well that would play out though...

The world continues to evolve and change and perhaps cursive deserves a small place in the future, but then again, perhaps not.

Either way, let's be intentional with our purpose if we do choose to include cursive, and if our intentions are more for our own preservation and tradition, then perhaps instead it's time to think more of what's best and needed for our kids.