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Old 08-01-2016, 10:16 AM   #21
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... Teaching cursive these days would be akin to teaching kids how to use a slide rule. ...
Reminds me of a story. Back when I was learning to be a flight engineer, we had a lot of math that had to be done; nothing really hard mind you, just a lot of it and sometimes fairly large numbers. One of the "weed out" courses included a block of instruction that required many of these large math problems to be worked out by hand (stupid problems like 312,992,328,382 divided by 32,224,743)...even though a cheap calculator could be bought for 99 cents at the BX. The "logic" was that you never knew when your calculator might fail and then of course, the plane would run out of fuel (or meet some other demise because of a flawed calculation) and you would die. This logic lived on until the early 2000's, even after the airplane had its own laptop and most of the crew members had their own laptops and calculators. It was quite ridiculous.
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Old 08-01-2016, 10:16 AM   #22
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+1. Aside from signatures (I guess), cursive is obsolete, and often much harder to read than print. I haven't used cursive for 40 years, even though "penmanship" was required when I went to school. I'd rather see schools focus on math, tech literacy, programming, personal finance, even civics before cursive...

For those who think cursive should be taught, or even required, I am curious why?
Teaching cursive is something that has always been taught in the latter primary grades. It generally doesn't take time away from things like personal finance and civics which are typically taught in some high schools.

There are many documents in cursive as well as people who communicate with written notes etc that would require others to be able to read that format. It is also a motor skill involving hand/eye coordination.

Cheers!
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Old 08-01-2016, 10:23 AM   #23
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Let's not forget about the Luddites, who eschew (when possible) many modern things, such as digital communications, and rely on cursive to communicate.
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Old 08-01-2016, 10:23 AM   #24
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Teaching cursive is something that has always been taught in the latter primary grades. It generally doesn't take time away from things like personal finance and civics which are typically taught in some high schools.

There are many documents in cursive as well as people who communicate with written notes etc that would require others to be able to read that format. It is also a motor skill involving hand/eye coordination.

Cheers!
What decade are you living in? As many as 40% of teachers have reported that cursive is no longer part of the curriculum. And Civics? This hasn't *really* been taught in a very long time. Sure, there is "social studies", but basic civics isn't covered very well, in my opinion.

I think most of the kids figure out hand/eye coordination with video games and tablet use. I know you want to laugh at that, but I can tell you that coming from the flying world (and substantial amount of time developingthe training for said flying skills), today's kids come into the AF with hand/eye coordination skills that are FAR superior than when I went in.
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Old 08-01-2016, 10:26 AM   #25
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As Mark Knopfler sings: "I don't do it no more but I used to could".

Nowadays, for the increasingly infrequent times, (Birthday Cards for grandkids, etc), I'm obliged to communicate via pen, (ballpoint...can't remember the last time I used a nib), I utilize the old 'printing with a ruler underneath' trick.
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Old 08-01-2016, 10:27 AM   #26
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the word 'cursive' makes me think it would be something Beavis would say "he said cursive heh heh heh heh'
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Old 08-01-2016, 10:36 AM   #27
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Considering the truly awful grammar, writing, and reading comprehension skills that many people seem to have, I think it does boil down to a matter of priorities. There is limited time in the daily curriculum, so spending time on cursive does indeed take away from other, far more vital subjects that are more important in the modern world. When maybe 0.5% of all documents you'd encounter in a typical week are written in cursive, how does it make sense to spend an hour a day teaching kids this archaic skill when they could be getting extra, much-needed instruction in proper grammar, writing, or reading comprehension?
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Old 08-01-2016, 11:05 AM   #28
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Don't know that a law is needed, but it's an art form such that if we teach music/drawing, cursive fits in.

I've also read that taking written class notes helps ingrain the subject as it causes you to spit back in your own thoughts what was taught. Does typing do same?
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Old 08-01-2016, 11:21 AM   #29
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Why? I've not written anything in cursive, including checks contracts signatures, for almost 50 years. Ain't stopped me.
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Old 08-01-2016, 11:28 AM   #30
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I get a feeling that the state passing the law tells you a lot about the law's real meaning. It isn't that kids need or will ever use cursive, it is symbolic of something a portion of the local voters feel we have lost. It feels like mom and apple pie to a lot of voters the legislature is pandering to.
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Old 08-01-2016, 11:36 AM   #31
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I get a feeling that the state passing the law tells you a lot about the law's real meaning. It isn't that kids need or will ever use cursive, it is symbolic of something a portion of the local voters feel we have lost. It feels like mom and apple pie to a lot of voters the legislature is pandering to.

Yeah I get the impression it's some weird part of the make America great again sentiment. I'm not against teaching it , but I don't think it's as important as say typing. Although the way things are going, typing may not be a essential skill much longer either.


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Old 08-01-2016, 11:37 AM   #32
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I'm not sure what the right answer is but a law seems over the top. Isn't this Board of Education territory. Why does cursive exist? Is it because it is faster than printing? There are many areas where written notes are still used extensively. I would suggest that if you cannot write legible cursive then it is time to go to printing. At some point it may be necessary to go to printing for other reasons such as others are unable to read even good cursive. For example, my children have some difficulty deciphering their grandmother's beautiful handwriting. In my w@rk life I would periodically ask colleagues if they could read what I had written as a type of monitoring and over the years I found that a larger percentage of what I had put down on paper was actually printed but to the end I had a fusion of the two forms. My experience with electronic records was that they were not as good as pen and paper for several reasons. As well, in educational settings, it seems to me that the move to laptop/electronic has come at a price. Newer is not always better. Of course, there's probably not much money to be made in paper and pen sales.
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Old 08-01-2016, 11:53 AM   #33
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I just checked my notepads from w@rk and it is all in print. All caps actually. The funny thing is that the letters flowed to the next...almost like cursive. I find that print is fast and easier to read.
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Old 08-01-2016, 12:03 PM   #34
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I was flipping through the TV today and stopped on the local news to marvel at the Monday AM traffic (well, marvel in the fact that I am not it it! ) and after the traffic report, they told us of a law that just went into effect in Alabama. Apparently, it is now mandated that public schools teach cursive writing. I am not sure what to think of this requirement but I am inclined to think this is a silly law. Is the skill of cursive writing even really relevant today? I thought about creating a poll...but it seems like folks around here don't like them...so I will just ask...

Cursive writing: Should it be required curriculum?
It's because the Constitution is written in cursive and some folks are afraid that today's young people can no longer read it.

There has been quite a movement over this.

I find it hard to take this very seriously, but then I read cursive and can write if I really have to.
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Old 08-01-2016, 12:05 PM   #35
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Adding cursive back to curriculum? Dead Cat Bounce.
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Old 08-01-2016, 12:18 PM   #36
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Don't know that a law is needed, but it's an art form such that if we teach music/drawing, cursive fits in.

I've also read that taking written class notes helps ingrain the subject as it causes you to spit back in your own thoughts what was taught. Does typing do same?
Actually since cursive is a minor form of Calligraphy, (definition of Calligraphy:" a : artistic, stylized, or elegant handwriting or lettering b : the art of producing such writing" It seems appropriate to move it to art. Of course Calligraphy is very much an art in Asia, as writing beautiful posters is appreciated there.
Now one can actually come close with tools called Tex and Metafont on computers to produce printed documents that look hand written. Indeed there are places that sell computer calligraphy services for example to make wedding invatations envelopes look handwritten without having to actually write. Indeed this website has fonts that you can use in Word to print out things that appear to be calligraphy.
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Old 08-01-2016, 12:30 PM   #37
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I realized how important cursive was when my older son started Piano in the 2nd grade. The teacher (who we still use) writes notes each week in a spiral notebook of what to practice between lessons. Until he learned to read cursive - I had to "translate" the cursive for him. Additionally, birthday cards and letters from grandma were all in cursive.

And, as Candrew mentioned, I've read a lot about the fine motor skills that develop with cursive. Additionally, especially with boys, their brain/motor skills aren't quite developed in kindergarten when printing is taught...and the issue can get hard wired into the brain. Often they've "caught up" by 3rd or 4th grade when they learn cursive and new pathways for writing are formed in the brain. This can reverse a disgrafia diagnosis. This was the case for my younger son... his printing is still terrible and we've done therapy to try and improve it - but he can write cursive like a champ.
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Old 08-01-2016, 12:39 PM   #38
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It's because the Constitution is written in cursive and some folks are afraid that today's young people can no longer read it.

There has been quite a movement over this.

I find it hard to take this very seriously, but then I read cursive and can write if I really have to.
Thanks.

I see their point. I mean think about all the blind people who had to wait till books on tape had the technology to support their needs.

I guess it would take a real genius to look at cursive and match the characters.

Years ago in the mill I graded lumber. The tally and the stack of lumber had to match, as the tally turned into an invoice for the stack. Most of the crew was illiterate. Yet somehow these mental giants were able to match the letters I put on the lumber with the letters in front of the stack. Who knew.
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Old 08-01-2016, 12:46 PM   #39
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I don't think this is the case. If you *actually* write cursive the "correct" way, it looks an awful lot like print letters. If your cursive writing looks more like hieroglyphics then I would guess few people can read it.
The capital F, T and Z in your attachment aren't same as what I was taught.

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Old 08-01-2016, 12:59 PM   #40
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I came to the US in 7th grade and had to retro-learn cursive vs. what we in the UK called "joined up writing". I don't think I have ever mastered a US version of a G in cursive.

However, I do wish I were not filled with dread those few times I want to write a note to someone. I just can't do even a few lines without mistakes, it's like a lost skill to put to put pen to paper. When still working, if I took any notes for myself during a meeting it was almost for show, as I could hardly ever read back my own stuff if more than a day went by. At least I was the boss for the last decade so I always delegated to have someon else capture important stuff.

So I do understand that schools should still teach kids to actually be able to write legibly by hand. But to actually regulate cursive via a state law seems silly.
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