Educators warn of negative effects of not teaching cursive in schools
Lauren Sanchez teaches cursive writing to third graders at St. Francis Xavier Elementary School in Burbank, California.
July 8th, 2011
09:34 PM ET

Educators warn of negative effects of not teaching cursive in schools

Handwriting experts and educators worry that Indiana's choice to stop teaching cursive in schools could negatively affect a child's ability to learn.

The Indiana Department of Education joined 39 other states in adopting the Common Core curriculum, an initiative to phase out cursive writing in classrooms in favor of providing students more time to hone digital skills.

But some believe the move could adversely affect children.

"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.

"I think there’s a firmer connection of wiring between the brain’s processes of learning these skills and the actual practice of writing."

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Filed under: Education • Indiana
soundoff (283 Responses)
  1. Colt 45

    Isn't your signature your own mark of who you are? How unthinkable the prospect of not being able to write. When you write you learn. The Indiana Board of Education is looking very ignorant indeed. Can you imagine the USA without the Signers of the Declaration of Independence?

    July 10, 2011 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  2. ben

    @Joey: agree with most of what you're saying but most of the teachers I had(in public school) were hard working, in fact they always made themselves available to help their students. I can recall several teachers I had that made themselves available even at their own home when they were off, not that a teacher is ever really off.

    July 10, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. itsamemario

    The teachers i thanked in my post above were all public school teachers..

    July 10, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  4. chillipepper

    Liberals run the school system and are always coming up with dumb ideas every year. Like teaching ebonics. I worked in the school system before and every year they ditch what they dreamed up the year before. Instead of keeping tied and true methods that have been implemented through years of experimenting already. But those are put aside as old. But down the line eveything will come back to old school after everything else has failed. But will be forgotten again down the line as time forgets. endless circle.

    July 11, 2011 at 7:15 am | Report abuse |
  5. The Other Guy

    Cursive is pointless. Please stop trying to ruin kids' lives.

    July 11, 2011 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
    • rowan

      no one has said anything about the freezes in teachers pay. or the cutting of benefits. it seems that bush while he was a part of the dumbing down of america paved the way for futher damage. cursive is an artform. im not good at it , but a well written letter is a beautiful thing. i want to add that as the dumbimg down goes on so does the loss of our fundamental rights in america. all for safeties sake of course what do you have when youve a population of people with little or inferior education, no rights to pricacy and no right to bear arms? youve a population of slaves. thats were here headed.the gap between the middle class and the rich widen day by day. ready to serf anyone?

      July 11, 2011 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
    • rowan

      forgive my spelling. i get into what im posting and it goes the way of our rights lol.

      July 11, 2011 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
  6. K

    No where does the article say that they won't be teaching kids to write, just that they won't be teaching cursive. BFD. I've never written in cursive, I've always thought it was ugly. As late as the writing of the Declaration of Independence, it was still evolving into what we know today as cursive. So, get over it. It hasn't always been around and the world has been gradually moving past it starting with my own generation.

    July 11, 2011 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
    • L

      So you've never signed a check, credit card statement or applied for a mortgage?

      July 11, 2011 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
    • john

      L
      Who accepts checks anymore?
      Mortgage applications can be completed fully digital without signature (more secure anyway)
      Credit card slip? Thats really your main argument for wasting a year of education.

      And they wonder why the country is going down the drain ;D

      July 11, 2011 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  7. Violet

    Technology is A wonderful thing, but when we stop teaching kids how to write (cursive) because of the key board is really bad. What happens when the computer crashes, or the power goes out? People who only print look really stupid.

    July 11, 2011 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
    • L

      Totally agree. Those who think it's pointless have no idea. I think handwriting style shouldn't be graded but it is.

      July 11, 2011 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
  8. tundra7

    So how will these kids sign for their mortgage, or their car's owner card or any legal contract? The contracts don't say Print Name and then Print Name again do they?

    July 11, 2011 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Hannah7

      I can't write in cursive but I have a signature. Nothing says it has to be in cursive. Mine's just a fast, sloppy print. I was taught cursive in 3rd grade & NEVER used it again. It really is pointless.

      July 11, 2011 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • john

      Your signature can be anything you want, waste a year of teaching to just sign a bill....

      wow, you have to be the most efficient person ever!

      July 11, 2011 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  9. Violet

    K, cursive only looks ugly when you have poor penmanship.

    July 11, 2011 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
    • rowan

      i agree 100% violet.

      July 11, 2011 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  10. Violet

    Education is big business, cutting cursive is an excuse for administrators to spend money on pet projects.

    July 11, 2011 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  11. Printer

    I rarely write in cursive. But not sure about doing away with it. With regard to signatures. A signature does not HA E TO. E IN CURSIVE.

    July 11, 2011 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  12. Danny

    Writing is writing, whether it's cursive, print, or a mix of the two (which is what just about everyone who learns both eventually does anyway). As long as kids are taught to understand language, what difference does it make as to how they get there?

    July 11, 2011 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
  13. AlwaysTri

    If signatures are no longer required to be in cursive, won't it be significantly easier to forge them?

    July 11, 2011 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  14. xavi

    I don't know if I buy what the principal says, but I do believe that anything involving arts and humanities seems to be disregarded by a certain segment of America. Teach the peasants how to punch a keyboard and give them jobs is their suggestion. Sounds like education, McDonald's style.

    July 11, 2011 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  15. Matt

    Anyone paid to do anything will object when you marginalize the importance of what they do and you (or the world) around you makes it less important. Self interest as the greatest pillar of American society.

    July 11, 2011 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
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