Do you have adblock enabled?
If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(AZCentral)   With all the things kids have to learn today in order to be competitive in a global economy, why are schools still teaching cursive writing?   ( ) divider line
    More: Silly  
•       •       •

4467 clicks; posted to Main » on 27 Jul 2014 at 8:21 PM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

Voting Results (Smartest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

2014-07-27 08:04:57 PM  
7 votes:
It's probably not as important to be able to write cursive as it is to be able to read it.
2014-07-27 08:23:41 PM  
5 votes:
You should have sufficient mastery over your ability to write that it forms an accurate measure of your intelligence
2014-07-27 08:55:55 PM  
4 votes:
2014-07-27 08:25:52 PM  
4 votes:
The most useless thing I was taught in school?  Cursive writing.  The most useful thing I was taught in school?  Keyboarding.
2014-07-27 08:18:34 PM  
4 votes:
Because despite what you think ITmitter, some of the old school skills are nice.
2014-07-27 09:11:13 PM  
3 votes:
Should we teach cursive writing in public schools?  That depends on what your vision of a successful student is- a useful worker bee, trained for whatever skills the corporate world needs for present technology and in the immediate future, who are fungible commodities to be discarded when technological changes require new skills that they will demand in the newest editions of compliant worker bees possess off the shelf; or
young people with a broad basic education- one that includes the foundation of American civilization in history, economics, government, music and the arts, mathematics and the basic sciences.  An education that puts American civilization and culture into the global context through instruction comparing and contrasting the US with other cultures and civilizations and one that fosters critical thinking skills, learning at least one other language, how to work cooperatively with others.  Someone with the ability to be an informed and rational voter, with a solid intellectual, philosophical and esthetic basis to grow from who will out compete others in the global economy through flexibility and the capacity to adjust to a changing world.

Teaching cursive writing alone won't determine which course we take, but why we choose to teach it or not teach it, will.
2014-07-27 08:47:11 PM  
3 votes:
Why bother to learn to tell time on a clock with hands. Why do Navy officers have to learn to navigate with a sextant?
Its just useful to have certain skills.
I was never taught cursive. My penmanship was and is too ugly.
But I picked it up an I can read it and write it.
Cursive is not Mandarin Chinese. Its not difficult to master, and good penmanship reflects well on the writer as does proper grammar and punctuation.
Good communication skills go a long way toward making a good impression.
2014-07-27 08:26:13 PM  
3 votes:
At some point in your life, somebody is going to write you a check. And you damned well should be able to sign it.
2014-07-27 10:56:52 PM  
2 votes:
Practiced cursive writing is faster than printing. Taking notes by hand leads to better retention and understanding than typing them. That's it.
2014-07-27 09:23:29 PM  
2 votes:
A well written love letter, in cursive, with a clear firm hand, is a great way to get laid. More effective than texting your junk.
Do you need any other reasons?
2014-07-27 09:06:29 PM  
2 votes:

UsikFark: A mix of cursive and print letters is the sign of educated, efficient handwriting. Meanwhile, I know people born just a few years after me who write their (print) letters like crooked tombstones in a graveyard.

Here is an example of the sort of cursive/print hybrid:
[ image 850x278]
That is not the best handwriting, but you can tell they learned cursive and still link frequent letter pairs.

And it works your brain in a way that typing on a keyboard doesn't. The physical gesture of writing out information lodges it in your brain, and parsing wiggly symbols exercises more of your brain than scanning Arial.

Like all apparently "boring" and "useless" topics, it might be helpful if it was taught in an interesting and practical way, for example as an art--from calligraphy to graffiti to creating ciphers. The history of letterforms is pretty interesting too.
2014-07-27 09:02:29 PM  
2 votes:
I don't care if you write with it, but you sure as fark better be able to read it.  Want a career in the medical field? (and yes that means you " DeVry University medical billing and coding specialists" You sure as hell better be able to read archived records, most of which are hand-written.
2014-07-27 08:30:53 PM  
2 votes:
You see, when you lift your quill pen from the paper between letters in words it leaves blots.
2014-07-27 08:29:56 PM  
2 votes:
Being able to read manuscripts makes children (and they adults they become) capable of understanding complicated political manuscripts that are a threat to my future dictatorship. I'm glad we're dumbing down education.
2014-07-28 07:26:55 PM  
1 vote:
Also, are you for or against government debt? You might want to make up your mind.
2014-07-28 05:35:16 PM  
1 vote:

lohphat: Once upon a time the GOP valued public education as an investment in good citizenship. No longer. They want ignorant dupes to maintain their voter base.

The GOP isn't running the schools. The schools are as funded as ever and have more in-school time than ever. The decline isn't partisan.
2014-07-28 02:53:03 PM  
1 vote:
For most kids, I'd say it's not needed. For some, however, I was surprised to learn that it's a pretty effective way to help kids who are having difficulty learning how to write. Mine, for example, has had some speech and language setbacks. She has problems reading and communicating, though she does fine with other subjects (if not better than most) once those barriers are removed. Her writing in the 2nd grade was noticeably worse than the other kids her age. It was nearly unreadable. The special ed teacher who works with her suggested they start cursive with her early, and I thought she was nuts. Turns out, it worked. Her print is still completely unreadable, but her cursive is better than most adults.

I still have no idea how this works, but it did.
2014-07-28 11:31:36 AM  
1 vote:
Because people still write in cursive and it pays to be able to communicate with your peers without having to call your mommy to read a passage to you.
2014-07-28 11:28:07 AM  
1 vote:

gingerjet: The most useless thing I was taught in school?  Cursive writing.  The most useful thing I was taught in school?  Keyboarding.

Best place I learned keyboarding? Playing on a combat-heavy text-based MUD.

/can type 90 wpm.
//110 when the adrenaline kicks in.
2014-07-28 09:52:20 AM  
1 vote:
Printing != Writing
Not being able to write = illiteracy

2014-07-28 05:40:01 AM  
1 vote:

Caffeine Induced Diarrhea: Arguments for cursive: its pretty, easy, and backwards compatible.

Arguments against: its unnessesary and outdated.

Anything else?

For teaching fine motor skills to children (children for whom fine motor skills are still developing)?
2014-07-28 01:56:08 AM  
1 vote:
I love cursive writing and I have nice penmanship, but I'm not terribly smart, just old.

I think cursive should still be taught in schools, but then again, I wish they still taught Home Ec and Wood Shop.  I gained some lower-level skills in both, so I bemoan the fact that those aren't taught anymore, either.  I can sew those onions on my belt quite nicely.

Lastly, to continue the old-person rant, I wish we'd bring back the Oxford comma, two spaces after periods, and the Dewey Decimal System.
2014-07-28 01:53:49 AM  
1 vote:
Simple -- if a person expects anything other than a cubical land, minimum-wage, or manual-labor job, writing is still very much alive and well, particularly at the higher-level jobs.  Indeed, many things are typed and send via e-mail, but you'll still find many (most?) lawyers, doctors, engineers, etc., all taking notes in cursive.  Why?  Efficiency and the thought process.

My handwriting sucks and I prefer typing as a result, BUT in my science, engineering, and med school classes, hand-taking of notes still was best in many situations.   Even if you're using a tablet or touch-screen computer, you're still going to ultimately have to write letters at some point.   I've also found that memory retention was superior when hand-writing notes vs. typing them.

If it were up to me, I'd have the US schools do what many European schools do -- fountain pens ONLY for the first few years.  It forces you to write properly and the plethora of inks, nibs, and paper makes it a very interactive process.  As an older adult, writing with a fountain pen is rather therapeutic for me compared to typing the same thing into a computer or even writing with a Biro.

As far as "keyboarding" classes -- bah, humbug!  I type ~120+wpm depending on the keyboard at-hand, even up to 50wpm on a Blackberry keyboard.  Never took a typing class and never needed to.  The mind & body automatically pick up efficiency on that.  If you need proof of that, just watch any teenager sending texts on a mobile phone.  No keyboarding class teaches that but I'm sure most of the teens would beat me in a heartbeat on there.
2014-07-28 01:07:45 AM  
1 vote:

jst3p: I would rather take the time they use to teach cursive and use it to teach HTML or any scripting.

How about we lengthen the school day and teach both.

And give teachers the healthy uptick in salary they deserve.

Problem solved.
2014-07-28 01:04:56 AM  
1 vote:
I accidentally renewed my cursive writing last year and it's a blast. Everything just looks classier. It does to the eyes what a smooth English accent does to the ears.
2014-07-28 12:39:16 AM  
1 vote:

eas81: silverjets: gingerjet: The most useless thing I was taught in school?  Cursive writing.  The most useful thing I was taught in school?  Keyboarding.

So how are you going to sign legal documents with your keyboard?  Or are you going to print your name in big block letters like a 4 year old?

Electronic signature how does it work

I'd like to see you put an electronic signature on an original paper document.
2014-07-28 12:21:14 AM  
1 vote:

gingerjet: The most useless thing I was taught in school?  Cursive writing.  The most useful thing I was taught in school?  Keyboarding.

So how are you going to sign legal documents with your keyboard?  Or are you going to print your name in big block letters like a 4 year old?
2014-07-27 11:38:17 PM  
1 vote:

ElLoco: MylesHeartVodak: Let us know how long you have been applying for a job.  Seriously.

Cursive writing is the most primitive form of "sophisticated" writing.  The most basic form of hand written communications.

You are only capable of printing block characters.
Good luck there, Sparky.   You fail to be able to actually write a resume by hand.  All of your references are lies.  Thanks.

Please, brag to us about your new-hire at Google or Microsoft without basic skills.  Please do, with references.

Written language skills my be on their way out, but they are still evidence of your basic literacy.  Fail is fail, thanks for playing.

Competency with multiple writing forms is a very small, if even applicable in today's electronic environment, aspect of conveying intelligible ideas in print. The beauty of one's writing is irrelevant if no one can understand the information being presented due to poor grammar and sentence structure. I think that schools should prioritize the latter and place much less emphasis on the former... 'construct the carriage before hitching up the mule,' as it were.

You know what I mean?

Don't you find it strange that forty years ago children in public schools did all of the above, and even though we spend much more now our children are less capable than before? My children are learning cursive. And Latin. And a shiat ton of other electives. I call it the Parenting Gap. My kids will be Haves.
2014-07-27 11:37:27 PM  
1 vote:
Why learn to read cursive?  So you'll know what something like www.jfklibrary.orgthis says if you ever get one:
2014-07-27 10:32:09 PM  
1 vote:
2014-07-27 10:31:30 PM  
1 vote:

I was SO looking forward to full conversion to the metric system when I was in elementary school.  It makes sense, unlike the garbage we're using now.

I was looking forward to using the metric system too. It seemed so orderly... on paper.

But here in New Zealand, when I talk about having come "7 megameters" from california, they all lose their minds. "You mean 7 thousand kilometers?" "No.. that would be a bad use of the metric system. It is 7 megameters. Saying 7 thousand kilometers is no better than saying "7 thousand thousand meters." It's stupid. It defeats the whole purpose of the metric system"

Same thing with weight. 200 milligrams? No... the metric system is clearly defined. Thais 2 decigrams.

If something is 100 meters long, it is 1 hectometer. It isn't difficult.

But, sadly, it seems that the adoption of the "metric" system is completely stalled, even in these so called "metric" countries, and even they have no idea how to use it.

So I've decided just to use the imperial system. No one measures distance between countries in inches.
2014-07-27 10:22:44 PM  
1 vote:
What's the problem with teaching cursive?
2014-07-27 10:19:55 PM  
1 vote:
Checks?  LOL
2014-07-27 10:12:56 PM  
1 vote:

Yeah, we should be able to read the original, not just trust the "translation" into print.
2014-07-27 10:12:24 PM  
1 vote:
See what sort of stuff you get from people who write in cursive.
And make 'em doing it in needlepoint so they won't complain about the actual writing part.
2014-07-27 10:02:42 PM  
1 vote:
When the EMP bombs go off, you better know how to write.......
2014-07-27 10:00:10 PM  
1 vote:

ghare: For the same reason we don't use the metric system.For the same reason we still have pennies even though a nickel is worth what a penny used to be.For the same reason we still have dollar bills even though a dollar is worth about what a quarter used to be.Old people terrified of change. Even when change just makes sense.

I was SO looking forward to full conversion to the metric system when I was in elementary school.  It makes sense, unlike the garbage we're using now.

Ronald Reagan was the second worst president in this country's history.  Yes, that's only part of why, but it's not a small part.
2014-07-27 09:34:45 PM  
1 vote:
Teaching the fundamentals of cursive writing and reading it is worthwhile- for the neuro-developmental reasons mentioned as well as the "backwards compatibility" mentioned above.  It doesn't have to be a huge part of the curriculum and after the student had mastered the basics- move on.  Remember we are talking about grade school aged kids here, we have no farkin idea of which student will become the Ambassador to the Court of St. James,  who will become a tech firm CEO and who will become a cook, or  plumber etc.  It's important to expose kids to all manner of things so they can discover what their interests and strengths are, what their weaknesses are and so they have some appreciation for others who do what they can't or don't want to do.  I had to take cursive handwriting as well as art and I sucked at both (I had no talent despite the fact that my grandmother had beautiful penmanship and some of her work was used to illustrate Palmer Method Penmanship books.) But I can read cursive handwriting, even some of the more elaborate old styles and I appreciate art by those who have the talent and the drive I lacked.  We tend to discount craftsmanship in a lot of things when we focus on the false notion that only college and technology based careers are what will be globally competitive.
2014-07-27 09:32:14 PM  
1 vote:

gingerjet: The most useless thing I was taught in school?  Cursive writing.  The most useful thing I was taught in school?  Keyboarding.

Cursive is not useless. It trains fine motor control skills that typing doesn't. It's not a matter of either/or but both are needed.
2014-07-27 09:15:37 PM  
1 vote:
How can any adult lack the skill to write in cursive?

I say this as someone who was told in the 1st grade that I had worse penmanship ever seen by the teacher.

It hasn't gotten much neater in 40 years.

I can apply myself and do it with precision when the occasion requires, though.  It's an old-fashioned method of writing that should not die through laziness.
2014-07-27 09:13:32 PM  
1 vote:

MaudlinMutantMollusk: Oh look... it's this thread again

You can post that on every fark thread.
2014-07-27 09:11:33 PM  
1 vote:

Caffeine Induced Diarrhea: Let's see:

Arguments for cursive: its pretty, easy, and backwards compatible.

Arguments against: its unnessesary and outdated.

Anything else?

(James, Karin H. an Atwood, Thea P. (2009).The role of sensorimotor learning in the perception of letter-like forms: Tracking the causes of neural specialization for letters. Cognitive Neuropsychology.26 (1), 91-100

.), suggests that cursive can beneficial to cognitive development and the integration of movement control, cognition, and sensation.

Handwriting, in general, is good for neural development, but cursive may be more so because it requires more difficult visual recognition.  James, K.H. and Engelhardt, L. (2013). The effects of handwriting experience on functional brain development in pre-literate children.

Besides that, cursive has been found to be better for students with disabilities like dyslexia because the letters are easier to tell apart.
2014-07-27 09:02:58 PM  
1 vote:
It is mildly useful for deciphering pre-typed writing (like old photos or historical records), and it's a useful enough skill to have for a well-rounded person.

If we're REALLY so pressed for time in the educational system, let's have a national standardized test and throw out all the state/regional/corporate ones. One test, lasting no more than 2 days of school at the beginning and one at the end of the year. Everything else gets tossed into a giant bonfire, including the administrators who need more tests to justify more specialized textbooks from the salesperson with a kickback incentive.
2014-07-27 08:47:58 PM  
1 vote:

Guilty_plea_bargain: gingerjet: The most useless thing I was taught in school?  Cursive writing.  The most useful thing I was taught in school?  Keyboarding.

The most useless thing I was taught in school. Algebra.

Here's what somebody pointed out to me, many summers ago:

Have somebody stand a short distance away, and toss a baseball to you.

You track the ball's trajectory, and successfully catch it.

Congradulations! You've just done introductory trig.
2014-07-27 08:43:35 PM  
1 vote:

Ego edo infantia cattus: skaya: You should have sufficient mastery over your ability to write that it forms an accurate measure of your intelligence


My head almost exploded.

Mine too.
Perhaps, had it been posted in cursive it would have made sense.

teenage mutant ninja rapist: skaya: You should have sufficient mastery over your ability to write that it forms an accurate measure of your intelligence

Thats kind of like saying that dancing is a good measure of intelligence. Some people have the moves and some people do not.

No you simpleton; dancing is a good way to size up a bed partner, and sadly, has nothing to do with intelligence.
2014-07-27 08:42:56 PM  
1 vote:
Because it is important to be able to read what is written on the back of old family photographs.

/Amongst my grandmother's photos are notes written in Shorthand describing the location and subjects of the photos (she was a legal secretary) my mother kept saying she needed to translate those, unfortunately she passed away before doing so.
2014-07-27 08:40:52 PM  
1 vote:
Well, if you suspect that any child will have cause to read an original document from before the turn of the millennium, chances are they'll have to be able to at least decipher cursive writing.  The easiest way to do this is to teach children how to write in cursive so they can learn the letters and the various styles. Of course you could just devote that half hour a day or week to more test taking skills memorization and that is your choice.
2014-07-27 08:30:34 PM  
1 vote:
I would rather take the time they use to teach cursive and use it to teach HTML or any scripting.
2014-07-27 08:30:02 PM  
1 vote:
One must know how to signature.
2014-07-27 08:29:48 PM  
1 vote:
Oh look... it's this thread again
2014-07-27 07:49:44 PM  
1 vote:
I'm going to give you the same answer I gave my coworkers when I was teaching in Phoenix when they didn't want to teach D'Nealian writing. Those kids can produce the most beautiful graffiti. It's art. Truly.

All you need to do is apply some freaking pressure. Many of my former students have beautiful cursive writing.
Displayed 51 of 51 comments

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »
On Twitter

Javascript is required to view headlines in widget.

In Other Media
  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.