Goodbye Cursive.

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Indiana’s elementary students will no longer be required to perfect the looping script of cursive handwriting.

It’s a sad day (if you ask an old person like me).

Starting this fall, the Indiana Department of Education will no longer require public schools to teach cursive.

Instead, students will be expected to become proficient in keyboard use (like keyboards will be around in 10 years).

As someone who makes a second living off writing(?) a second rate blog about nothing, I know this is the way the world is heading.

But it makes me sad.

I can remember the sense of accomplishment I felt when I learned how to make a cursive S.

I don’t remember feeling the same sense of accomplishment when I typed my first S.


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18 Responses to “Goodbye Cursive.”

  1. Rene
    on Jul 8th, 2011
    @ 8:12 am

    A few years back, I worked as a learning consultant for my board. We brought in an occupational therapist to come and give a workshop to JK and SK teachers about handwriting. There was a workshop conceived for cursive writing as well, but the consensus was that it was going to be obsolete in a few years. The main reason why people use cursive writing is for speed. But if you can type 3 or 4 times as fast as you can handwrite, why bother with it.
    As an educator, I think it’s important that kids learn it, but also as a tech savy administrator, I think we need to look at the alternatives that are now available… I guess I’m torn between the two.

  2. Raquel
    on Jul 8th, 2011
    @ 8:13 am

    Here in NC they have done away with cursive a long time ago. My prediction is future generations will learn text style writing or talk. You know k=okay…gtg= got to go etc.

  3. Sally
    on Jul 8th, 2011
    @ 8:31 am

    As a 2nd grade teacher who teaches cursive I have mixed feelings. I would love to give up the time it takes for instruction and practice in the classroom but the students are so excited to be learning cursive and getting their “cursive license”. I think as technology moves forward and increases in the classroom we are moving away from the hand written form. I just finished reading a book titled Matched which is based in a future society. In this society all people communicate through their scribe. There is one character who remembers cursive letters and teaches another how to write their name. They have to do it in secret in the dirt so no one knows they are doing this. Kind of scary.

  4. Darrell
    on Jul 8th, 2011
    @ 9:29 am

    I am not sure it is a good idea to do away with cursive writing. I see society going from a choo choo train to a bullet train. Cursive forces us to take our tiime in writing and formulate our thoughts. I am all for technology but using the computer to type is good but the computer corrects your grammar for you. There is little thought in formulating your sentences. And, if we are moving to a texting style society, then we are doomed. Cursive writing says a lot about the individual: are you neat, thought process, do you take your time, etc. I still see cursive writing as a necessary skill.

  5. Jenny
    on Jul 8th, 2011
    @ 10:27 am

    As an Indiana 2nd grade teacher, I think a lot of corporations will still teach how to write it, in large part because kids don’t know how to READ cursive, and that’s an important skill. Plus, I make the kids “graduate” from print, so they have to get really good at printing (which some of them really need!), and they are so excited to get to try cursive. It improves coordination and all handwriting considerably to teach it.

    Typing is important too, but we’ll try to do both.

    To be honest, I’m quite surprised our IDOE is taking out something in order to give us time to teach something else. Usually, it’s just adding more content but never taking any away. I’m still concerned that it may not help because typing may not be taught in the same grade level as cursive would have been.

  6. Olivia
    on Jul 9th, 2011
    @ 5:26 pm

    My grandmother taught me to “write” before I started school at age five. I was in the first grade and could “write” my name but had a hard time printing it. I never did learn to print worth a hoot. As I grew older, my handwriting would start out beautifully but by the end of the page it was all uphill and looked as thought several people had participated in the writing. It took on different formats…slanted forward, backward, big and small … well, you get the idea. I agree with the idea that cursive writing is something that cannot hurt to learn as it does require some thought and concentration. In this I want it now and I can get now world, we need to have something that slows us down. As to the culture that learns to write their name in secret, I contend that eventually we won’t have anything but a head, so writing will be moot as will keyboarding!

  7. Lindsey S
    on Jul 10th, 2011
    @ 7:07 pm

    In our school, cursive is being taught in 2nd grade, the grade I teach. However, it is not something that is “mandatory.” Therefore, not all of the teachers even teach all of the letters; some just send home the packet with the students at the end of the year. In addition, our school doesn’t have a computer class for elementary students, which I think is horrible considering the rate in which technology is moving. I would much rather my students learn how to type than how to write in cursive. I believe that if they learn how to write their name in cursive, they will be fine. Besides, that’s the only time the majority of us use cursive anyway =)

  8. Melanie
    on Jul 11th, 2011
    @ 9:49 am

    I have been lamenting the disappearance of cursive for many years now. I teach HS English at a college prep charter school, and I write on the board in cursive. In my opinion, printing is for lazy people. My students are not allowed to have computers in the classroom to take notes so their note-taking skills are horrendous because they can not write in cursive and their printing takes way too long. Many of my students learn to read and write cursive while taking my class, on their own, because I talk about it so much. Cursive requires the brain to make connections between letters, which facilitates creating new pathways in the brain. Using cursive saved my life in college as I could not afford a laptop at the time. We are doing our students a disservice by assuming they can all afford computers to type on and will be able to keep up with note-taking via printing. (I’ll get down off my soap box now!)

  9. Aaron
    on Jul 12th, 2011
    @ 1:51 pm

    I am not sure that we are not missing some of the major benefits of learning cursive. Yes, it is becoming less prevalent with the ability to keyboard on most electronic devices, but there are benefits in terms of fine motor development that students develop by practicing small controlled movements that does not occurr when kids are thumping away at keyboards. There is research that suggests that learning and practicing cursive handwriting helps in cognitive development and maybe that should be the focus rather than the way we share information! SO if we are doing away with cursive instruction then how are we going to support the development of the cognitive and motor skills that it stimulated?
    Anyway I guess that was more of a question rather than a comment…gtg…ttys!

    Michael Smith Reply:

    @Aaron, I think you’ve brought up an excellent point.

    Now if I can just find someone to answer it.

  10. jeanie martz
    on Jul 13th, 2011
    @ 9:11 am

    I am a retired teacher. I think it is terrible cursive is out. What would George Washington think? Printing is a sign of not being smart enough to learn cursive.

  11. Connie Magee
    on Aug 29th, 2011
    @ 4:36 pm

    When teaching time for cursive was being cut in our local school district, my teacher friend came up with an innovative way to pair technology with traditional handwriting — a simple video (Animated Handwriting) that displayed the drawing and redrawing of each letter. It made learning cursive more efficient and faster because she could spend time helping individual students instead of drawing letters on the board. Students got the best of both worlds.

  12. Kevin
    on Aug 28th, 2012
    @ 2:59 pm

    I realize this was published over a year ago, but I’ll still share my 2-cents.
    So how will these students sign contracts, Wills, Trust Documents, driver’s license, auto registration cards, etc. Fraud will become more rampant than it is now. “That’s not my signature” will be an easy answer to someone wishing to deflect responsibility for contractual agreements. I hope the all-knowing powers behind this have an answer for that. I can see it know, “just make your mark” will return – that mark, an ‘X’, was usually an indication of an uneducated person. History appears to being doing what it usually does – repeats.

    Michael Smith Reply:

    @Kevin, It is never too late for comments.

    I think you are SO right on history.

    We never learn.

  13. Mireille Robinson
    on Oct 4th, 2012
    @ 9:53 am

    Although I would like to see us continue to teach and use cursive writing, it does not make sense to me to do so simply because ‘they need to know so they can read it’ or because it is the way it has always been done. Our emotional attachement to this skill is based on our collective personal experience. If it is indeed going to survive ‘change’, it needs to be for the right reason (fine motor skills, art, etc…).
    I was teaching how to say the time to my grade 7 French students and it occurred to me that some of them could not read analog watches (big hand and little hand). How long until ‘clockwise’ and ‘counter clockwise’ also disappear from our vocabulary…

    Michael Smith Reply:

    I think you hit it on the head. It’s our emotional attachment.

  14. Miss Christie
    on Oct 9th, 2012
    @ 10:00 am

    I’ve been a teacher 16 years and have taught grades K-6. I’m also a writer. I’m nearing the age of 40…Oh, God…next spring! I digress…cursive was established so people could write more quickly. Pens, pencils, and markers were invented so we didn’t have to dip quills into the ink. Now, we have a “new” invention. The word processor/computer. How long are we going to continue to waste classroom time teaching cursive? I know, I know, it helps fine motor, brain development, etc. In college, I still wrote on a piece of paper my stories and essays, but I had an electric typewriter then and HAD to pre-write so I could copy what I wrote. (Much less wasted time.) As a writer, I no longer sit and write in cursive before I write a story. I get it all out right on my computer. I don’t believe my brain has to work any less while typing a story out on the keypad of my computer. My fine motor skills are being put to use as I type on these tiny keys. Thought to paper is still happening, but in a different, faster, and more efficient way. GET WITH IT PEOPLE! Cursive is out…

    Michael Smith Reply:

    Great comment!!! You are a 1,000% right.

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