Is Cursive Writing Still Useful?

cartoon_picture_of_girl_writingOne of the current debates in education is regarding cursive writing. With so much of our “writing” being done electronically, the debate over cursive writing’s usefulness has been seen across the internet and even in such prestigious publications as TIME magazine.

One of our own educators, Learning Support High School Teacher Diane Eversmeyer, weighs in with her thoughts on the subject.


I look at the above question and think to myself of days of old, lined paper and pencil. We were taught the nice curly q’s that have now somehow come down to chicken scratch for some of us (especially if you are a physician it seems) but to me the answer to the above question is a resounding yes.

Cursive writing gave us an identity all of our own. We were the only ones who had that style. No one could take away how we wrote the letters the way we did. The way we wrote the letters gave different feeling to the meaning of the text: scribbly could mean you were angry or in a rush; neat and flowing could mean you were trying hard to impress.

We still need cursive today  to sign checks or to sign our name for a loan or mortgage. It makes people feel important when they can sign their name to something that they have worked for and they can finally claim as theirs. The pride that we take to sign our name shows that as long as we have that no one can ever take that away from us. People can take a lot of things from us, but they can’t take our pride and our name as long as we have learned how to write it and are proud of it.

When we are type our names electronically, everyone has the same generic image. The letters all look the same and no real feeling can be sensed in that particular name. Feelings through writing can be expressed both in type and in cursive, but when writing a name or a card, there is nothing like getting an old fashioned handwritten card with a scrolled name that means someone took the time to write it. It also means someone took the time to teach it, learn it, understand it, value it, and reuse it enough to pass it on to the next generation. Cursive is not antiquated; it is still a 21st century tool.

 

Diane Eversmeyer is a Learning Support High School History Teacher who also co-teaches Algebra 1 and Tutors at the Middle School Level. She has been with PA Virtual for nearly 10 years and has also co-taught English during her time here. Dianes’s undergraduate degree is in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Special Education and a minor in Reading. Her Master’s Degree is in Curriculum and Technology.   In her spare time, she likes to go kayaking, read, and do genealogy work. The last time Diane penned a handwritten note was just one week before this posting.

 

To read more about the value of cursive writing, check out these resources:

http://time.com/2820780/five-reasons-kids-should-still-learn-cursive-writing/

http://education.cu-portland.edu/blog/curriculum-instruction/5-reasons-cursive-writing-should-be-taught-in-school/

http://www.npr.org/blogs/ed/2014/03/25/294212825/kids-these-days-can-type-but-cant-write-cursive-is-that-bad

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/04/30/should-schools-require-children-to-learn-cursive/the-benefits-of-cursive-go-beyond-writing

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