Has Cursive Writing Gone Extinct?
As many of you know, many schools are not even bothering to teach our children the skill of cursive writing. I don’t know about you, but this bothers me a lot because for me, penmanship is a sign of sophistication and intelligence. It’s a right of passage. It is adulthood.
When I went to school, first we learned how to write the alphabet, in caps and lower case, then to hand-write words, sentences, paragraphs, and then we learned cursive. Today, everyone uses a computer so keyboarding is what many schools are teaching.
Standards no longer require elementary students to learn cursive and most think it has gone the way of the dinosaur. I think it is to the detriment of civilization if our children don’t learn cursive penmanship.
Our society is one that is highly digitized and technologically advanced. Who needs to write pretty in cursive if no one is writing, just texting or typing on a keyboard, right? Wrong!
What happens if there is a blackout in a 100 years and no one is alive who remembers how to write? Then what? As a society we become collectively mute? We may as well be cavemen. It is effectively going backwards in evolution because we are lazy.
Luckily, scientists are discovering that learning cursive is an important tool for cognitive development, particularly in training the brain to learn in a capacity for optimal efficiency. When learning cursive writing, the brain develops functional specialization that integrates both sensation, movement control, and thinking.
To write legible cursive, fine motor control is needed. Students have to pay attention and think about what and how they are doing it and practice to get better. Parts of the brain work that do not need to engage during keyboarding.
For me, keyboarding is like learning sight words versus learning how to read phonetically. One is teaching you a skill that will help you develop your ability; the other is mimicking an action without truly soaking in how it works. It’s cheating and it cheats the student.
To write by hand, a child’s brain must locate each stroke relative to other strokes and learn and remember the detail characteristics of each letter.
Cursive writing, compared to printing, is even more beneficial because the movements are harder and more detailed. It’s faster and more efficient to write and allows students to develop a sense of personal style and ownership of their penmanship.
Cursive writing helps train the brain to integrate visual information, tactile information and develop fine motor dexterity. School systems are becoming more and more concerned with testing scores rather than teaching skills that will later develop a better capacity for acquiring new knowledge.
Our children need to learn cursive writing. It will be to their detriment and the detriment of civilization as a whole if we cease to teach and learn cursive writing. My daughters are learning cursive at school and at home because I refuse to live in a society where my children grow into adults who have the penmanship of a 5-year-old and cannot write love letters to their own children one of these days.
Do you think cursive is still relevant, or has it become extinct?
Photo Source: Muffinn