Does it Matter?

Cursive writing is going out of our public school curriculums/curricula. Does it matter?

The curlicue letters of cursive handwriting, once considered a mainstay of American elementary education, have been slowly disappearing from classrooms for years. Now, with most states adopting new national standards that don’t require such instruction, cursive could soon be eliminated from most public schools.

For many students, cursive is becoming as foreign as ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. In college lecture halls, more students take notes on laptops and tablet computers than with pens and notepads. Responding to handwritten letters from grandparents in cursive is no longer necessary as they, too, learn how to use email, Facebook and Skype.

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than fifty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • Annie

    It’ll matter for me, since my kids and grandkids won’t be able to read my writing; I can’t print!

  • Barb

    not much–I’m past 60 and I abandoned the cursive that I was forced to learn as soon as I could–by high school.

  • Chris

    I had perfect handwriting in early elementary, then they taught us cursive and my writing has been terrible ever since. It will only help us to get rid of it. We have better tings to learn, imo.

  • Adam

    I never write cursive, but I’ve heard several people say it helps with dyslexia.

  • Phil Miller

    As someone who writes left-handed, I say good riddance! I remember in grade school when we’d have to write papers and do homework in cursive, my papers would be one big smeared mess.

  • Greg Drummond

    Another lefty here. Cursive just served to make the rest of my hand writing worse. I abandoned it as soon as I could. I remember being told it is faster, but that was never my experience. The only value I could see remaining would be the creation of a fancy signature. That’s all I use cursive for now.

  • LMoon

    I see no reason learn to write cursive, but a bit on reading it could be helpful, whether it’s for reading card from older relatives or doing historical research.

  • Sean

    Wow… I’m surprised by the answers here. I think cursive is important. It is a very elegant way to hand write. I’m sad that it will be going away. My kids (9 & 10 years old) loved learning it recently at school.

  • Diane

    MY kids didn’t learn it in school because of standardized testing. The big issue has been how painful it has been for them to develop signatures–still needed even if you never learned cursive. Luckily, the signatures don’t have to be legible.

  • http://the-rick-blog.blogspot.com.au/ Patrick Keuning

    I have dyslexia, and cursive never helped me. Should maybe be kept for artistic reason. Cursive really well done is very appealing to look at.

  • Adam Legler

    I can’t read my cursive so I don’t use it anyway

  • Travis Greene

    No.

  • CarolJean

    What about writing your signature in cursive?

  • Dana Ames

    Phil and Greg,
    if you had been taught properly, including how to turn the paper, your writing would not have smeared. My husband is a lefty and has nice handwriting, but curves his wrist, and because of that gets writer’s cramp. His teachers did not take the time to help him.

    I think cursive is important to learn. The old “school cursive” that was displayed in classrooms, usually above the chalkboard (another thing that has gone by the wayside), should be a departure point for a more individualized hand. Both my writing and printing were bad in elementary school, and I taught myself a version of Copperplate when I was in Jr High. Better yet, italic handwriting could be taught – it looks nice even if not executed perfectly. I think devoting so much time to teaching to tests is part of the reason handwriting has been neglected. In the old days, the problem was that not many teachers knew how to teach it well.

    Cursive writing helps train the brain in fine motor skills. It enables a child to have a unique expression of his/her person, like his/her voice. There are times when we want to send written correspondence still. It’s even more a sign of caring and love now that it’s less common. I think cursive writing should be taught, and taught well.

    Dana


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