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. HRH banasy

    Cursive is traditionally taught around third grade.
    I do not get why they can't put off keyboarding until a later grade...
    So, so silly.
    So your going to get kids who can type 100 words a minute, but can't sign the back of their paycheck?
    Does that make any sense?

    July 9, 2011 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
    • john

      What company cuts paychecks anymore?! Everything is direct deposit! Get with the times, I dont even have a checkbook anymore. Noone takes checks!

      July 11, 2011 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
    • jimmy d.

      signed the back of a paycheck? ive had direct deposit since 1984 and any checks that arent i just PRINT "for deposit only" and print my account # on the back and deposit it. i'm almost 50 and have never signed a paycheck......

      July 11, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  2. HRH banasy

    I meant to say you're going to get more al.

    I'm going to sleep now!

    July 9, 2011 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
  3. Nora Dunner

    Public schools are a joke its a daycare for the working class's children

    July 9, 2011 at 1:07 am | Report abuse |
  4. jerk

    I will teach my son cursive.

    July 9, 2011 at 4:04 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jonathan Witerski

    The arguments made in this article for teaching cursive are weak, to say the least. I haven't written in cursive since, oh, I can't even remember. I don't see the harm in learning it but considering how far behind we are in relation to the education students are receiving in other countries, I think we have better things to spend time teaching to students in public education.

    July 9, 2011 at 4:32 am | Report abuse |
  6. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    The problem is much bigger than cursive script.
    In a child's learning to think, reasoning and memorizing WITHOUT a computer's help are vital.
    Today, many young adults can operate a computer but cannot COMPLETELY understand what appears on the screen.
    I had, as an example, a bank employee who thought I had only one address. I had to go to her side of the desk and indicate the second address on the lower part of the screen.
    She said, "but the address is supposed to be up here. Is that your address too?"
    Children are learning to operate computers, but not to THINK.
    The parent who said he would teach his child cursive script at home had it right.
    If one can afford it, he should send his children to private schools today. This was not always the case.

    July 9, 2011 at 7:02 am | Report abuse |
  7. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Hi Jazzzzzzz! Mornin'!
    Music education really went away many years ago.
    When I was in public elementary school, every single pupil could read music and try to sing his part in a chorus, even if tone-deaf. ("You're too loud, Johnny.")
    When amplification in opera houses (!) became secretly the standard, HS students didn't have to sing without mikes either.
    We ALL had to know a little classical music in grade school and try to sing the most famous themes.
    Beyond cursive script, I realized when I was a young adult that all my age-peers who'd had the advantage of private schools could also write in italic script. About five years ago I taught myself that too, just so I wouldn't feel deprived.
    "Taught myself" is a very important phrase in what I just wrote. It is the absence of this desire and sense of personal responsibility that causes the failure of our current public schools, IMO.

    July 9, 2011 at 7:51 am | Report abuse |
  8. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    No more writing.
    I have to go to work now.

    July 9, 2011 at 7:53 am | Report abuse |
  9. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    One more quickie before I hit the grind:
    Last night I had a long chat with a pupil of a pupil, and this young man wanted me to illustrate for him various Southern accents because I'm from Mississippi and have a good ear.
    He's 23 and was raised by rich parents, traveling and studying all over Europe and other places. He speaks many languages, but was born here. He's working on a doctorate in one of the best universities.
    When I meet somebody who was born into that, my first instinct is to be jealous and knock it down, but then I think, "I can get that too," and I start trying to learn it myself.
    Kids today–most kids–don't think that way, at least in the USA. They think that the privileged are greedy and not to be used as models–if fact, many kids think that the privileged should be robbed and mocked.
    That way, kids deny themselves aspiration.

    July 9, 2011 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |
  10. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Of course I'm older than you: I'm 115 years of age! I'm older than almost everybody.
    My nurses tell me that I'm in good shape as they roll me around in my wheelchair.

    July 9, 2011 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
  11. Monke*

    In our state they are also teaching spelling by using multiple choice testing. I wonder if they are trying to dumb down the kids????

    July 9, 2011 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
    • PraiseTheLard

      They've been working at dumbing down America for the past 4 decades...

      July 9, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Concerned

    This is why the state shouldnt educate children. Why would you entrust a childs education to someone making 35000 a year. Home school or private school is the way to go, plus the state would save billions.

    July 9, 2011 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
  13. Name*Bucktooth

    What? Now you have more dumb people attempting to say that they don't need to teach children to write? Digital skills to me are exercising your fingers for the violence of video games, and texting? Where is our intelligence going? There are people in the world who would love to be able to read and write..there are millions in this country who are functionally illiterate! Not loving these GMO bright ideas!

    July 9, 2011 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  14. Ancient Texan

    I'm amazed at the lack of education in America these days. High school graduates that can't read, can't carry on an intelligent conversation, don't have a clue as to the capitol of the state they live in but can text, and walk around with cell phones protruding from their ears. They are not stupid, they're just not receiving an education. Throwing money at the problem via the Department of Education isn't the answer.

    July 9, 2011 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |

    @Ancient Texan
    look up little inbread crack3r, throw away money is my right.

    July 9, 2011 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
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