Why do Schools still Teach Cursive Writing?

Cursive writing

Should flowing letters and fancy loops still be taught to students? Is cursive writing no longer relevant as we move towards an increasingly technological society?

Common Core Standards do not require cursive writing.

Under the new standards, states are allowed to teach cursive if they choose, and many still do. The issue is hotly debated among educators and we thought we’d extract the positions from the two sides of this debate.

The Pro-Cursive Position

  • Cursive writing connects students to the past. If they cannot write cursive, they cannot read cursive writing and would not be able to read historical documents, such as the Declaration of Independence.
  • Cursive writing is a faster way of writing than printing. Under some circumstances, such as timed exams, it is important that students write at a speed that will enable them to finish their task.
  • Internet plagiarism is a concern for schools, so many teachers have increased in-class writing assignments, and these essays must be legible.
  • Copying texts, like a poem, helps kids to “internalize” language. Often students will confess to not understanding a poem when they read it, but that they have a deeper understanding once they have copied it. A 2010 study by the Carnegie Corporation of New York reported that students’ reading skills can improve if they write what they are reading in addition to them learning writing skills and increasing how much they write.

The Con-Cursive Position

  • Like calligraphy, we are past cursive writing. What can be created by the pen, can now be created on the computer. It’s about the written word.
  • Writing needs to be a functional thing, and students should be able to do that any way they can.
  • Some teachers argue that kids take longer writing cursive than printing, so that nullifies the argument that cursive writing is faster.
  • Students need to be prepared for their futures – be competitive in a world that will look entirely different in 20 years. Cursive writing won’t feature much in that world – it will be considered more of a historical artfact, like we look at calligraphy today.
  • This is the age of iPads, cell phones and computers. We need to focus more on helping our kids use these tools for future success. Cursive writing is an outdated skill that’s taking up valuable instruction time. We should be focusing on keyboarding skills and other computer-based communication.

What do you think? Is it important to you that your kids learn cursive writing? If you do feel it’s important and you are looking for free printable cursive writing worksheets, K5 has some on this page.

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