Kansas may halt cursive education

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http://techcrunch.com/2012/11/12/omg-cursive-education-on-the-chopping-block/

Cursive may be going the way of the Dodo bird and newspapers: Kansas is mulling a decision to cut cursive education and prioritize typing skills. "Parents want to know what your school is doing to teach kids to be prepared for the world of technology," said Bob Voboril, superintendent of schools for the Wichita Catholic Diocese. "That's a higher priority for parents than what we would call the penmanship arts."

On Tuesday, the Kansas State Board of Education will consider what role - if any - cursive will have in elementary education and collect survey responses from the districts. The Wichita Eagle reports that cursive lessons have declined in the city, but isn't sure how seriously board members are taking the decision to completely erase it from the curriculum.

Yeah, yeah make whatever Kansas education jokes you want, but... is this really a bad thing? I can't think of any time in my day-to-day life where I have to use cursive apart from signatures. I kind of feel that cursive is a relic of a bygone era that we can well afford to lose (or at least have it taught later like in a university).

Good. Cursive is an artifact of the past. On the off chance that there is something that isn't computer text, it's almost always normal print text. I have never been in a situation where cursive was necessary. You don't even need to use it for your signature if you don't want to.

Does anyone really use cursive anymore? It was taught to us in primary school, and for like a year or two it was demanded for major assignments. Then dropped entirely. I can't remember the last time anyone used it for something more lengthy than their signature.

LetalisK:
Good. Cursive is an artifact of the past. On the off chance that there is something that isn't computer text, it's almost always normal print text. I have never been in a situation where cursive was necessary. You don't even need to use it for your signature if you don't want to.

And even then, you don't honestly need to "know" cursive for your signature. Just write out maybe the first two letters and then follow it by squiggles and boom, you've got yourself a signature... If you can remember it.

For example, can you guess who this signature belongs to?

Answer:

It's JFK

I will laugh at the day when people are so used to computer typing for written work that when in some strange situation, they are force to use cursive writing, their hand writing will be awful!

While I do agree that cursive are being less these days but I do feel they hold some important heritage wise.

Shame as I do like cursive as a type of handwriting, but yeah, I think schools can better focus that time on other things.

They should teach you to sign your name, make you do it on everything, then teach you nothing else. Signing my name is the only time I have ever used cursive outside of the times I was forced to use it. Typing classes are a good idea.

Good riddance. I can't stand cursive writing. When someone is really good at it, sure, it looks fancy... but the vast majority of people aren't good at it, so it just looks like especially messy scribbles.

I might be slightly biased here, though. For a while I worked in a physical therapy clinic, so I had to deal with a lot of referrals from doctors written in cursive that no one in the office could decipher. We ended up having to spend so much time on the phone confirming the information that the doctor's offices started typing everything. Problem is, they still signed in cursive without their names being in print anywhere, so we still had to call them all the time to find out who actually referred the patients we were getting. Doctor handwriting is generally shitty enough even without cursive thrown into the mix, so it made me kind of bitter.

Frankly, I typing is a much more practical and valuable skill for students to learn at this point in time anyway.

Scarim Coral:
I will laugh at the day when people are so used to computer typing for written work that when in some strange situation, they are force to use cursive writing, their hand writing will be awful!

I cannot fathom a single situation where an adult would be forced to use cursive. Pretty much everything is typed now.

I find it strange that cursive writing is considered some additional unnecessary skill in America :/.

You know what we call cursive writing in England? Writing(yes I know this is quite a douchey thing to say). I genuinely did not know the word 'cursive' until I spoke to Americans many years later. I cannot comment on how younger people who are in the early stages of school now are being taught, but I have a friend who is 17 and for everybody he is around it is considered a basic form of writing that is the norm. So unless the schooling system has so radically changed within the past 5 years as to be unrecognizable to me..

It's perhaps unusual to have 100% joined writing but totally separated writing to me would be the sort of thing you see young children doing. Do so many people genuinely labour at writing in such a way?

The fact that some people consider something to basic so be in need of phasing out..baffles me.

LetalisK:
Good. Cursive is an artifact of the past. On the off chance that there is something that isn't computer text, it's almost always normal print text. I have never been in a situation where cursive was necessary. You don't even need to use it for your signature if you don't want to.

Responses like this make me think of those segway machines. I know it's totally unfair but I can't help but think "walking is a relic of a bygone age..what modern human being would need to walk when you can ride?". It's a basic way of making writing more efficient for those times when you may want to write.

On a personal level:I can type at about 100 wpm, but the tactile sensation of writing is nice for me and I find that when I want to scribble notes and reminders and anything like that it is much easier to personalise and accentuate things in such a way that it makes reading it again much more visually distinct and easy to do than if I had typed my thoughts out and printed them out.

Edit: I apologise to the person I misquoted, sorry :(.

Good. Cursive is such an outdated and useless way of writing what with computers and just plain print writing is good enough. Even my signature is just my last name with some squiggles and dots for flair.

Truth, after learning it in the 3rd grade I never used cursive again.

I have no idea why the hell we ever used it in the first place. What was ever wrong with good old print? Does the same exact job and infinitely more readable.

Cavan:
I find it strange that cursive writing is considered some additional unnecessary skill in America :/.

You know what we call cursive writing in England? Writing. I genuinely did not know the word 'cursive' until I spoke to Americans many years later. I cannot comment on how younger people who are in the early stages of school now are being taught, but I have a friend who is 17 and for everybody he is around it is considered a basic form of writing that is the norm. So unless the schooling system has so radically changed within the past 5 years as to be unrecognizable to me..

It's perhaps unusual to have 100% joined writing but totally separated writing to me would be the sort of thing you see young children doing. Do so many people genuinely labour at writing in such a way?

The fact that some people consider something to basic so be in need of phasing out..baffles me.

LetalisK:
Good. Cursive is an artifact of the past. On the off chance that there is something that isn't computer text, it's almost always normal print text. I have never been in a situation where cursive was necessary. You don't even need to use it for your signature if you don't want to.

Responses like this make me think of those segway machines. I know it's totally unfair but I can't help but think "walking is a relic of a bygone age..what modern human being would need to walk when you can ride?". It's a basic way of making writing more efficient for those times when you may want to write.

Edit: I apologise to the person I misquoted.

Occasionally I hand write things before I type them up, how exactly am I being inefficient using print? How much time is really saved using cursive? What, a handful of seconds?

Cavan:
It's perhaps unusual to have 100% joined writing but totally separated writing to me would be the sort of thing you see young children doing. Do so many people genuinely labour at writing in such a way?

Here in the United States, definitely. People who write in cursive for their regular handwriting are a minority.

I don't know about other places in the world, but here, it's just too difficult to read most of the time. It's taught to you early-on, but then most of the time teachers don't require its usage. So most students learn it, then immediately go right back to print writing. The ones who stick with it tend to be the ones I mentioned above in my previous post that are quite good at it and make it look fancy and neat. The ones who don't stick with it seem to rapidly lose the skill, so whenever they try to use it, it comes out illegible.

Unless they're doctors. Then everything they write, regardless of form, is illegible.

SaneAmongInsane:

Occasionally I had write things before I type them up, how exactly am I being inefficient using print? How much time is really saved using cursive? What, a handful of seconds?

I would say that I have seen people write without joining up anything and they do seem to labour at it. No you're not going to lose a heck of a lot of time in that writing, it is just a basic thing that is taught to make writing more efficient and 90% of the people my age in England are capable of doing it effortlessly.

So long as they still learn to write by hand, I see this as a good thing.

I write in a bastardized version of cursive mixed with print, mostly because my pure print looks absolutely childish and there is something very nice about cursive, but maybe it'll become one of those things like calligraphy.

Though, it isn't that big of a deal. Most people (myself included) don't use the cursive they were taught, they make up their own little ways of writing it.

We should still teach how to make a proper signature, though.

Moderated:
They should teach you to sign your name, make you do it on everything, then teach you nothing else. Signing my name is the only time I have ever used cursive outside of the times I was forced to use it. Typing classes are a good idea.

Signatures don't even have to make sense, they're always illegible anyway, I always sign my name with an obvious spelling mistake, just to see if anyone ever noticed (No one has) and I realised that I'd be able to spot a forged signature because It'd be spelt correctly, although realistically that's never going to happen, but it's nice to know

Tuesday Night Fever:
I don't know about other places in the world, but here, it's just too difficult to read most of the time.

This is actually why I don't mind it becoming an optional thing people can learn as opposed to it being mandatory. I've lived all over the world growing up, and poor, illegible hand writing is not exclusive to the US. Cursive writing simply compounds the issue even further, creating an unnecessary strain on people who have to suffer because of another student's short coming. How is a teacher suppose to grade a student on a report if they can't make heads or tails of the words?

Along with cursive, let's make sure the pendulum doesn't swing the other way at the same time. Prohibit and punish 1337 speak. It has no place in an academic setting.

DevilWithaHalo:
Along with cursive, let's make sure the pendulum doesn't swing the other way at the same time. Prohibit and punish 1337 speak. It has no place in an academic setting.

Ugh. Yes, definitely agreed.

I was in high school 2002-2006. One of the English teachers really loved the idea of peer editing for research papers, so I got to see a lot of the things my classmates wrote. Multiple of them regularly used internet slang, abbreviations, and acronyms in their writing. The worst part is that even if I pointed these out as errors, the teacher wouldn't count them as long as she knew what was meant.

Ridiculous.

When I was in school I was made to write with joined up lettering for everything. My handwriting was just illegible, and by the time I got to college I was told to switch to writing in block capitals for legibility.

But yeah, it can look pretty in rare cases, but in most it just looks crap.

Wait... what?
A school cutting a subject because nobody has any use for it?
...when did the world suddenly start becoming better?

To be honest I still write everything in cursive. It is simply faster anyone saying printing is faster is only faster because they never write in cursive. As much as everyone says it is useless just prefers to print because really logically cursive has just as much use as print except it is faster just less popular.

On one hand, there are enough people that still write in cursive that it's probably best to learn how to read it. But on the other hand, time spent learning how to type is going to be infinitely more valuable than time spent on penmanship, cursive or otherwise (after basic writing skills are learned, obviously).

Here in the UK "cursive" is normal. Very normal. Its almost a very small minority of people that dont use cursive all the time for everything. We only dont join up our words when we are very small and once we start with cursive we basically stick to it for life. However my handwriting is terrible. So i have had to learn block writing, im a very small minority. I find it pretty difficult not to let my pen flow into cursive. It just feels fluid and natural. Im SO astounded by the culture difference here. In the US cursive is weird and in the UK cursive is just what everyone does. It doesnt even have a name. Its just writing.

Its funny how you learn cursive as a weird thing and drop it while i learned cursive naturally and now find it hard to unlearn it for the sake of readability.

I think cursive should carry on (wayward son). Writing in cursive is faster and more efficient than printing when it comes to expressing what's on your mind, and it looks fine so long as you don't have wacky spaz hands. Many a magnum opus has been penned in cursive, and it was used to answer many questions of my childhood without any real problems. Cursive is one of those miracles out of nowhere, and it should be preserved.

From 3rd/4th grade onwards I wrote pretty much everything in cursive. But since I've been out of school (where I had to do a lot of handwriting) for a while now, when I do write something down, it's almost always in block. Either way, my hand writing sucks, but people tended to not understand my cursive because they didn't really remember how to read it.

More on subject, I think it's a bit stupid they're thinking of cutting it. It's just one of those things you probably should learn in my opinion.

Weird. I always write in cursive, it's meant to be quicker and easier than printing. My penmanship is terrible (due to a wrist condition), but it's not any easier to read if I'm printing. I don't remember it taking all that long to learn how to write it, and getting rid of it just doesn't really make sense to me. Many other countries still use cursive predominantly, and I know I wouldn't want to be unable to read hand-written things if I had to.

Aris Khandr:
Does anyone really use cursive anymore? It was taught to us in primary school, and for like a year or two it was demanded for major assignments. Then dropped entirely. I can't remember the last time anyone used it for something more lengthy than their signature.

In class, I write my notes in cursive because it's faster. One pen stroke, and my professors go through the material really fast, but that's just me.

But you can't use it on assignments though, since our professors instruct us to 'print legibly' because presumably they haven't read or written cursive in 20+ years.

renegade7:
In class, I write my notes in cursive because it's faster. One pen stroke, and my professors go through the material really fast, but that's just me.

I think the last time I took notes by hand was in high school around 1997. I got a laptop that summer, and have had one ever since.

B-But if they get rid of cursive no one in Kansas can take the SAT!

Seriously it was kind of awful/ hilarious seeing a room full of juniors (myself included) struggle to remember our cursive to write the "I will not cheat yadda yadda" before we started the test. Of course they couldn't possibly change that to have the option of writing in print. You can lie if you write in print, it has to be cursive.

Yes I'm still bitter.

As someone who is left handed all I have to say is: fuck cursive. Also fuck the shitty paper that I forced to use when learning how to write in cursive. So...um, yeah. Go Kansas.

Ugh, printing is a highly inferior form of writing by hand. Due to the fact that 99% of classes at my university have these stupid chairs with a piece of board to write on thing, it's pretty impossible to balance a laptop and your books properly, so writing notes by hand just became far more practical (not to mention there are fuck all plugs for laptops, and laptops are just even more weight on my poor back that I just don't need). Handwriting is so, so, so much faster than printing.

It's not like we spent huge amounts of time learning it when I was in school, either. We learned it in either grade 1 or 2, did some excercises right after lunch for a few weeks, boom, could write "cursive". We called it "handwriting" though, us silly Canadians.

Cursive is still a thing?

I remember being told that I had to 'graduate' to joined writing in year 3 & 4, but after that I went straight back to print. Its 1000% more legible [And whilst normally this would be an exaggeration, for me its not], and for me faster too; I don't have to worry about where each letter joins to, whether I can read what I just wrote, or any other number of things. I just write one word, slightly lift my pencil, and move it to the starting position of the next word.

At the same time, I think typing classes are pointless too.

My school tried to teach me touch typing one time with the fastest typing teacher in the school. I never listened to her, and just typed the way I always have. When she called me up on it, I told her I didn't need to place my fingers in certain positions to know where all the keys are, I knew from experience. To try and prove to me I was wrong, she challenged me to type out some sentence faster than she could. I did. Touch typing may help some people, but IMO a subconscious knowledge of the keyboard not tied to certain positions of your hands is more important.
I normally rest all my fingers on the spacebar as its a nice, relaxed position, and I have no need to place my fingers in certain positions to know where the keys are - if anything trying to do so slows me down. I just move my hands to wherever they need to be. If I'm typing predominantly on one side of the keyboard, my hands will both be more over that side, but thanks to the QWERTY layout they're generally pretty evenly distributed. I never look at the keyboard, and make no mistakes whilst typing unless I let my brain get ahead of my fingers, and start typing 3-4 letters ahead by accident. Typing lessons, IMO, should just be getting people to constantly type at a keyboard and write up large blocks of text, or play lots of keyboard intensive games so that they subconsciously learn the layout of the keyboard, 'cause that's a useful skill to have sometimes.

proper handwritting is an art! Silly America

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