Monday, October 19, 2009

Thing 4: Cursive Writing - A Lost Art?

As schools muster students to be prepared for the future, some parents and educators fear cursive writing may become a thing of the past. Is this a loss we need to be concerned about? Both MSNBC and EdWeek carried an article from a Charleston, West Virginia parent who contacted her daughter’s school after realizing her 8th grade daughter could not legibly sign her own name. Apparently handwriting is only taught in 3rd grade at her school. The article continues to address the fact that students see little need to spend hours learning cursive writing when the only real life need for the task is to write notes to self or the power crashes. As educators we strive to address students’ realistic educational needs, and it is true, cursive writing may be on the way out like the typewriter. I have yet to ask my granddaughter who, by the way, is attending 4th grade in West Virginia, if she is practicing handwriting this year. I know they do not have computers in their classroom, so I suggest schools not get the cart before the horse. Should we be concerned about this lost art? Maybe it could be taught in art class? What do you think? Comments welcome.


  1. We are just too much alike!

    I wrote a note to my 10th graders just yesterday ( encouraging them to write in cursive for the sake of timed tests (upon Mr. Quall's suggestion)...and immediately got feedback from across the US!

    Please check it out!

    Honestly, I had not thought about the debate of cursive writing during timed situations. Now that I have...think I will straddle this fence, for in such stressed situations, students should write in whichever way feels the most comfortable to them. Maybe?

  2. Maybe simpler cursive fonts might enable students to develop speedy cursive handwriting without hours of practice?