Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Case Against Cursive

I have mixed feelings about this article.  Yes, I get why there is a debate about cursive being taught in schools.  Plus, students are so excited to learn how to write cursive.  It's like their first passage into adulthood.  I know some third grade teachers who love teaching the craft of cursive and when students get to fourth grade they want to write in cursive all the time.  Yet, cursive is a skill that takes time, energy, and persistence.  Teachers and students want cursive done right yet, we don't have the time in our day to practice cursive...  I hate the thought that students don't know how to read cursive and often students don't even hold a pencil correctly because it all boils down to time.  Cursive isn't tested, measured, or graded, so why teach it?  I want to teach it because it's history.  I don't teach it because of time.  I have spent enormous amounts of time supporting my students how to navigate their EEE, practices typing, how to use commands to cut, paste, delete, and how to use extensions to help their writing.  Plus, all the time trouble-shooting and fixing glitchy computers --- who has time for cursive?

I do agree with the article that cursive can help students who struggle with fine motor skills.  When I have practiced cursive, students concentrate more on "writing" forming strokes and loops.  The formation of letters is done correctly and (in time) their words can be read.

This is a tough argument, at least for me it is.  No longer do we sit down and write letters in cursive.  However, I think it's nostalgia, "it's what I did when I was in school mentality".  Yet, how can I teach cursive when I have a set of EEE's in my classroom knowing there's so much to learn on those?

I guess I still have sad feelings about leaving cursive behind.

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