Tuesday, July 12, 2011

In The News- The Fight For Handwriting.

In the debate that has swept across the nation, handwriting is at stake. States have passed laws and schools have passed requirements where handwriting is no longer taught. Or if it is, it's only for a short period of time. Their reasoning is that handwriting is no longer needed in a world where typing is starting to be viewed as more important.

While people are typing more and more with the thousands of new techonologies that come out, handwriting I feel is still important. Sure some people may only say that the only reason to use handwriting is to sign offical documents or checks, but others say it is a vital skill needed to learn. And without being taught handwriting, your child's or your own education is at stake.

So who's right?

For those against teaching handwriting, or cursive, they say that there is not enough time to teach both typing skills and handwriting. They say that in our world as it is typing is increasingly more important than being able to write in the beautiful script known as cursive.

Indiana has been the most recent state out of 41 states in the US to adopt the new core teaching standards where typing is preferred over cursive. As in our upcoming In The News post next week (watch out for Why Teachers are Hypocrites) teachers are being tested themselves on how well their teaching is from the scores of standardized tests. So as another article pointed out, I can see why teachers want more time to teach subjects other than handwriting.

For those for handwriting, people in today's world seem to view quick writing is preferred to beautiful and neat handwriting. If we stop teaching cursive handwriting all together how will our children of the future be able to sign their names? Will they even be able to read the original Declaration of Independence?

Handwriting in itself is considered a work of art by many, the Declaration of Independence as an example, and many say that you can tell your personality by how you write. While cursive can be hard to read, especially for those with messy handwriting, is in faster sometimes and I find it easier to write in than block letters.

"The fluidity of cursive allows, I think, for gains in spelling and a better tie to what they are reading and comprehending through stories and such and through literature," said Paul Sullivan, principal of St. Francis Xavier Elementary School in Burbank, California. (CNN)
I find myself agreeing with this statement.  I remember that in 3rd grade that they were going to teach us how to write in cursive and then for the rest of the year they would only write on the boards in it. I remember groaning and complaining to my friends about why we had to learn this. In the beginning they only taught us the first few letter in lower case and a couple in uppercase. After that they stopped teaching it completely.

It wasn't until I moved at the end of 5th grade to a private school ran by my church that I finally learned the rest of cursive. While my cursive script isn't all that good and I still have trouble to this day writing uppercase letters, I do believe there is some truth in this statement.

 For the rest of my high school buddies who have been learning cursive since 3rd grade, their spelling and pronunciation of words is much better than mine. And so is their handwriting. To this day I have horrible spelling abilities, only maybe earning six or seven hundred percents (yes I'll admit it) in my school career on spelling tests (thankfully for me they stopped have spelling tests in high school). The only thing that has helped my spelling skills is writing and Spellcheck.

So yes I agree that in a way cursive helps reading and writing and spelling. Not only is it beautiful but I think it is something that we should not lose. Otherwise we'll end up like Matched (Allie Condie) where no one knows handwriting and they can only type.

So, what do you think? Ditch handwriting or keep it and why? Do you write in cursive or block letters? Do you prefer typing over writing?


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