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Learning to write cursive used to be a standard lesson in schools across the country. Most of us can remember gripping our pencils carefully as we tried to make those beautiful, swooping letters on double-lined paper.
However, in recent years, cursive handwriting has fallen by the wayside. In our increasingly technological society, teachers have focused more on computer literacy and less on handwriting.
Some say that Common Core standards initiated the trend, as schools were mandated to teach ‘keyboard literacy’ but not cursive handwriting.
Well, that is about to change, at least in Arizona. The state just made a newsworthy decision to require public schools to teach cursive handwriting. Numerous changes were made to the public school education standards, which State Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas says were vetted by “anti Common Core experts.”
Currently, there is a similar law on the books in Alabama. It is called Lexi’s Law and it requires students to learn how to write legibly in cursive by the time they finish the third grade. (The law was named after State Representative Dickie Drake said he heard his granddaughter Lexi saying she wanted to write “real writing,” meaning cursive).
Personally, I think that clinging onto cursive handwriting is a bit unnecessary. There used to be a time when school children learned calligraphy and needlepoint, but these arts have been replaced by more practical skills like computer literacy, SAT vocabulary, and geometry.
Cursive might look pretty or more formal, but it’s not inherently more useful than printed lettering. Let’s focus on teaching children to read and write well and forget about the cursive mandates. The joy of the written word comes not from how the words look on paper, but from what the words actually say.
What do you think of these new requirements? Do you think cursive handwriting is something every student needs to learn, or is it a relic of the past?
[h/t: CBS News]