The loopy loos, the making the curvy letters, whatever you called it called, learning to write in cursive was a big deal back in the day. I can remember always struggling to get my ‘S’ right. On my good days it looked like a beautiful symbol plucked from an antique love letter. On my worse, it looked like a treble clef gone wrong.

Learning cursive was one of the most memorable parts of early learning, but if trends continue it could become an obsolete remnant of yesteryear for kids in school today.

So far 41 states have adopted the Common Core State Standards for English, guidelines that omit the use of cursive on standardized testing. While it may be a joy for some students, many proponents of cursive believe that without requiring students to learn it the art of penmanship will be obliterated completely.

Cursive is steadily becoming a dated practice, with today’s elementary students born into the digital age. In Albany, where educators are in a debate over whether to remove cursive from the curriculum, some say that cursive may not be relevant anymore. Jaqueline DeChiaro, a principle at Albany’s Van Schaick Elementary School says she is not sure:

“We do know that our kids are using their thumbs to do text messaging. They do a lot of things on the computer now. It is something that we’ve talked about, should we still be teaching cursive writing?”
While technology has made the typed text the norm, I know I for one love seeing a hand written letter. There’s something about cursive that is much more personal.

What do you think of the debate on penmanship Clutchettes? Should cursive stay or go?

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  • Brasilia

    Being an educator, I was shocked when many of the high school students at my campus could not write in cursive. I was venting to a friend’s wife who is a fifth grade teacher about this, and she told me the reason why students don’t write in cursive is because teacher’s have no time to teach it. The school curriculum (at least in our state) is geared toward standardized testing. I was appalled to say the least. Generally, when you sign a form, you are asked to print your name on one line and your signature on another line. Many students simply print their name twice or they use a “tagging” as their signature handwriting. Either way, it is sad when students resort to graffiti style print and try to pass it off as formal handwriting. It is even sadder when teachers accept it because the district says its okay.
    I, for one, learned to write cursive in third grade. Prior to entering my third grade year, I begged my aunt to get me a cursive writing book and I practiced writing letters and words in cursive during the summer. I think it is ashamed that handwriting in general is being considered as obsolete due to technological advances. People of all ages need to learn to write, print and cursive, because handwriting(at least in my opinion) is the backbone of education. Without decent handwriting skills, you can’t express yourself whether it be in English/Literature, History or even Mathematics.

  • isolde

    I would like to know what is being taught in the time that was once alloted for teaching cursive in these schools that aren’t putting as much emphasis on cursive anymore? If that extra time is being devoted to say, math, science, or something more esential than mastering a specific type of script, then I can’t hate.

    I’m with those who only use cursive to sign my name. Everything else I write is either printed in D’Nealian or typed. As long as you can print legibly, you don’t have to master cursive to be able to communicate in written form. Even on written exams in schools, teachers usually demand that handwritting be legible, and legible does not mean cursive. To be completely honest, I remember learning and practicing cursive more so on my own time than in school.

    I don’t know. It’s times like this when I say, let the parents teach their kids how to write their signatures, especially if it’s not being taught in schools, but maybe that’s too much to ask.

  • natti_f_babii

    I remember in 5th grade my elementary teacher made us practice cursive ALL the time. And our class complained about it, and she said we’ll need it when we go to middle and high school. She was dead wrong, I’ve never used cursive in school, after that. Now we type 10 page essays. Why should a teacher teach things that won’t be used? I should have been taking a typing class in 5th grade, that would have been more useful.

    • i think it depends. i remember in high school, i had a teacher that forced my class to take handwritten notes every day as preparation for college. at the end of each quarter, we had to turn in our notes and they were graded for content, length, and legibility. and guess what? in college, i had to do the same thing for the majority of my classes! a lot of schools do allow typed notes, but a lot also ban computers, phones, tablets, etc from class because students play games or surf the web on them. i feel like eliminating cursive is a slippery slope to eliminating penmanship altogether, and thats going to trip up a lot of kids when they get to a collegiate level and are required to take handwritten notes, create study guides, etc. along with typing up official papers.

  • Next up.. NO WRITING AT ALL. We’re teaching our kids to rely on technology to do all of their everyday tasks. First it’s cursive writing that gets the boot, next would be standard writing. Yeah technology is a great thing to have, but what will they use if they have no access? if the computer shuts down? They’re going to be too lazy to even write anything. It’s a shame. I’m glad I was able to learn to write cursive.

  • I think this is a real great post.Really thank you! Cool.