Kansas may halt cursive education

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I just like the look of cursive. I have been writing almost everything in cursive lately, trying to improve my handwriting and make my notes go faster and look prettier. Im glad to say that it is working so far.

The Constitution of the United States is written in cursive.

I would prefer the citizens of this country KNOW how to read the damn thing.

I had to use cursive for a standardized test, recently. Maybe stopping it could be bad for that reason?

Oh yay! Now my half-print-half-cursive style will be even more unique! :D

I'm glad there getting rid of it. It was unnecessary time for something used so little.

I'm fairly certain a study proved that they both write at the same speed anyway.

I was taught cursive (joined up writing) in elementary school and I can think of one good reason, besides signatures, for why cursive should be taught in schools: so that children will know how to read other people's cursive writing. Some of you may think that learning to read cursive should be fairly simple, however I doubt I'd be able to read cursive if I had not been taught to write it. As several fellow Americans have said already, Middle School and High School teachers typically discourage students from using cursive. After years without using cursive, it is difficult for me to read cursive. This is, supposedly, fairly legible cursive from the third page of this thread:
image
I can only read about half of that. Several of my teachers in the past have used cursive or some sort of hybrid, but I've never seen writing like that I am pretty sure that the largest reason that is so difficult for me to read it is due to that ridiculous slant, however I think my point still stands that someone who never learned to write cursive at all would be completely incapable of reading cursive should he or she venture to Australia or certain parts of Europe apparently.

I find the difference in culture between people in or from the UK and the USA very interesting. The idea that some people would belittle me because I chose to use a writing style that everyone is capable of reading seems very odd. I could understand the merits of learning to write in cursive if websites and novels were completely in cursive on occasion, however I have yet to see anything like that.

I fully support teaching students how to type without looking at the keyboard, however I do not think that very many students are capable of learning how while in elementary school. Even if a large number of students ARE capable of learning it, I don't think they would really retain it at that stage of their growth unless they tend to type quite regularly. On the other hand, after reading several posts in this thread I'm a bit surprised to learn that some people are very capable, speedy typists without learning how to type "properly". I guess it really isn't for everyone...

NightmareWarden:
I can only read about half of that. Several of my teachers in the past have used cursive or some sort of hybrid, but I've never seen writing like that I am pretty sure that the largest reason that is so difficult for me to read it is due to that ridiculous slant, however I think my point still stands that someone who never learned to write cursive at all would be completely incapable of reading cursive should he or she venture to Australia or certain parts of Europe apparently.

Slant is the original. I think it allows you to write slightly faster. It's definitely considered to be fancier.

I have used cursive since elementary school and still use it in my college classes. Cursive is way faster and better looking than other handwriting methods as well. When it comes to a well written letter nothing beats cursive and not even a well typed e-mail is as personal as a letter written by hand. I think it should be necessary for every student to learn good handwriting, but I suppose it's just a sign of the times and I'm just getting older.

Citizen of Kansas here. I was taught cursive for 3 years of elementary school and since that time I only ever use cursive for my signature... I really hope this goes through because I thought it was a waste of time I could have used to learn much more important subjects.

I have no problem with it being an optional class further down the road, but I don't believe it should be required at all.

TechnoRaven:
I'm glad there getting rid of it. It was unnecessary time for something used so little.

I'm fairly certain a study proved that they both write at the same speed anyway.

This. This post explains exactly why we still need cursive... before it's too late.

Gavmando:
Wow.

Just wow.

I'm amazed and appalled by this thread. Are you people serious? You still use printing to write? If you cant write in cursive in Australia by the age of 10, then the teachers start looking at you like there's something wrong with you.

Aside from when I was actually learning it, I never had a teacher call me out for not using running writing (the term I learned for it instead of cursive). Either your teachers were a little on the strange side (but then again what teachers arn't) or you went to school in a more urban area as opposed to myself who went to school in a fairly rural area.

Sure some of these kids will have technological futures, but many of them will need that pretty handwriting for their food vendor blackboard specials. :D

mooncalf:
Sure some of these kids will have technological futures, but many of them will need that pretty handwriting for their food vendor blackboard specials. :D

They print those around here. XD

I haven't used it much since I was taught it (i've forgotten how to write a few letters, but can still recognize them). The problem with it is that it is very personalized. Which is good for signatures/security but bad for legibility.

Well, its something you should probably learn at least the basics of so you can read it. Though it has been my experience that most people develop a sort of hybrid style where letters that are easy to join are, and those that aren't are left alone.

I can write with reasonable speed in block print and I do it so that anyone can read what I have written.

Yep, cursive is pointless, but as has been said, we still need to know how to sign our names, so you can't eliminate it entirely. I expect that within a decade we'll have phased out signatures as well, at least as far as legal documents and such. We'll find something else.

I must be in the minority because any time i write anything out its always in cursive.

I was never actually taught cursive in school. Well, I guess we spent literally like one hour in grade 3, where we spelled out the alphabet in cursive once. It was never required or mentioned after that, which obviously meant that it didn't stick with me.

Just out of curiosity, how many hours are spent teaching children cursive in America? This thread makes it sound like it's a lot. I live in Ireland and I got literally one class on it when I was 10 years old. I like it so I've always used it since then.
I only ask because I can't imagine joined writing being so difficult that it would require more than an hour of teaching.

Primary School: "You should write joined up. It is of vital importance for you to be taken seriously later in life!"
Secondary School: "You should probably just print rather than try to join up your letters."
College: "So long as we can read it."
University: "Learn LaTeX."

Ofcourse, as a result I have that weird semi-joined-up writing that doctors, professors and other people who don't really care have. At least it's vaguely legible now you can see which letter is which (usually...)

Bluntman1138:
The Constitution of the United States is written in cursive.

I would prefer the citizens of this country KNOW how to read the damn thing.

This is kind of a moot point when the entirety of the US Constitution is a quick Google search away my good man.

www.usconstitution.net/const.pdf

Also there is about a thousand print versions of the Constitution. :/

On Topic:

Good to see them step away from the past, now if only they'd stop teaching their Telegram course.

eggy32:
Just out of curiosity, how many hours are spent teaching children cursive in America? This thread makes it sound like it's a lot. I live in Ireland and I got literally one class on it when I was 10 years old. I like it so I've always used it since then.
I only ask because I can't imagine joined writing being so difficult that it would require more than an hour of teaching.

well....lets see...im 29 and I learned cursive/joined up writing/handwriting in 3rd grade. So about 20 years ago (....queue depression). I would say....maybe a hour a day was spent on cursive for the entire year?

Keep in mind it was mostly a ton of PRACTICE, not actually learning how to do cursive.

Without cursive, that is more time to devote to actually important subjects. Considering how the kids in the US are getting dumber and dumber every year due to helicopter parents, terrible school administration, and politicians not knowing what the F they are doing and ruining everything in a system that more or less worked before they got involved we could use all the extra help we can get....

Yea, yea, I know. An older generation naysaying the intelligence of the newer generation is nothing new. Hell I will admit that my generation does not have the general handiman knowledge that my parent's generation had. I dont know anything about plumbering, residential wiring, woodcrafting, or just general maintainence other than installing drywall. Still, this new generation of kids goes far beyond that. I CRINGE at the thought of this new generation becoming adults.

I hate cursive. I spent years learning it and I will never use it. Good for them!

Fight for your rights to knowledge! I wouldn't be surprised if that was the same group that wanted to prevent evolution from being taught in schools. You know why they do that right? The less educated the people and the less capable people are at looking for evidence through books, the more pliable and gullible they are when politicians want their votes. And they all become all the more dependent upon the gov when the population can't produce enough scientists or doctors. (or highly trained professionnals). Then... religion has an answer. Then... you get black people to vote for a blatant racists like Romney. Then you get women to side with anti-feminists. The less educated the people the more wrongs they do to the country. And it all starts with stifling your education on basic things like handwriting.

Evidence?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27QTX46XNLM

In french Canada we have a similar problem: removing English classes from elementary schools. I learned english at age 7-8. Now the government wants to push it to age 12. The reason they give: it's too hard. But let's face it: if you can't speak english in 2012, you're handicapped for life.

No big loss. I learned cursive in fourth grade and it was gone from skillset in sixth.
My teachers hyped it up as being incredibly important, but once I got out of elementary school, no one seemed to care that I went back to print.

Meh.

99.9% of what you read is typed anyway these days.
People still complain that they dont teach Latin anymore either.

Kansas... Otherwise known as Belgium Light. I see no reason for why this is news.

I get that from a standpoint of practicality it makes perfectly logical sense to abandon cursive handwriting.

However.....

From the standpoint of our place in the global education system and how lackluster and downright neglectful the methods we use to educate our children are... There is simply no way I could willingly rationalize anything that serves to dumb down our education system out of sheer laziness and pandering to the lowest common denominator.

This is just good old fashioned American streamlining people!

Cursive writing is hard to read and what more, if you accidentally hit the cursive font on your word processor you've just created a veritable rats nest without even knowing it!

Can you really expect today's American student to go ALL the way back and fix a document they just accidentally typed in cursive font?

Best to just do away with it.

Cursive education would be nice... but with state budgets as tight as they are (corporate tax cuts trolololol) yeah, focus on typing skills if you cannot focus on both.

Because the fact remains that if you are going to write a formal letter in this day and age you are not going to pen it with cursive writing, you are going to use a word processor and printer or at the very least a typewriter.

Handwriting a letter - especially one that actually LOOKS GOOD - is a such a rare skill indeed, it's not necessary to be able to have formal and mature correspondence.

PS: actual joke about Kansas education: of course they can be progressive on modes of writing, that doesn't contradict the authority of the church.

ceeqanguel:
Fight for your rights to knowledge! I wouldn't be surprised if that was the same group that wanted to prevent evolution from being taught in schools. You know why they do that right? The less educated the people and the less capable people are at looking for evidence through books, the more pliable and gullible they are when politicians want their votes. And they all become all the more dependent upon the gov when the population can't produce enough scientists or doctors. (or highly trained professionnals). Then... religion has an answer. Then... you get black people to vote for a blatant racists like Romney. Then you get women to side with anti-feminists. The less educated the people the more wrongs they do to the country. And it all starts with stifling your education on basic things like handwriting.

Evidence?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27QTX46XNLM

In french Canada we have a similar problem: removing English classes from elementary schools. I learned english at age 7-8. Now the government wants to push it to age 12. The reason they give: it's too hard. But let's face it: if you can't speak english in 2012, you're handicapped for life.

"when the population can't produce enough scientists or doctors"

How does Cursive writing help you in academia?

Scientific papers must UNIVERSALLY be submitted in typed format, nothing is published or taught in cursive writing. On all official documents they see the need to loudly declare ALL WRITING IN BLOCK CAPITALS! There is a major campaign going on to STAMP OUT doctors hand writing prescriptions as their cursive hand writing is completely inconsistent. In the interests of excellence, cursive writing must be abandoned, people have been prescribed completely the wrong drugs or dangerously wrong dosages because of doctors using fancy handwriting.

In systems of VITAL interdependence cursive is a terrible mode of communication. Writing in block capitals is fare clearer. Academia is not about pointlessly showing off, it's about doing something USEFUL!

Cursive writing should be taught in art class along with other superficial frivolities, if it is to be taught anywhere.

Where is cursive writing used? It's not used in journalism, that's all typeface. The only place you'll encounter cursive writing is in history class but that would only be for reading old documents, you'd never transcribe into cursive. That's the only possible place where cursive writing need remain, a brief one hour lesson on reading cursive.

But the HUGE PROBLEM with cursive is there is no consistency, across regions and countries the handwriting style varies so much. My grandmother's cursive handwriting has completely different shaped vowels from my grandads, and letters look completely different depending on what they are attached to.

I don't see how not knowing cursive makes people more "pliable and gullible... when politicians want their votes". It's not like all the information on the internet is written in cursive and people can only share information about politicians and their policies via cursive handwriting tablets. Oh wait. It's all in typeface.

Not all "education" is equal, are people deprived by not getting a "religious education" where they spend all day Sunday being lectured to about how a genocidal god is "inherently good, is it bad they don't get that education?

Teaching English 7-8 is a different matter entirely. Even if English as a first language should be taught to under 12 year olds that says nothing on if Cursive writing should be taught at all as required curriculum.

NightmareWarden:
I was taught cursive (joined up writing) in elementary school and I can think of one good reason, besides signatures, for why cursive should be taught in schools: so that children will know how to read other people's cursive writing.

The problem here is the utter lack of consistency with cursive writing. It's not REMOTELY standardised and encourages extremely sloppy lettering and varies by region to region and from country to country. You cannot definitely say what any one letter is, it all depends on context with where the letter is in the word and what letter it connects to.

Doctors writing prescriptions get into HUGE TROUBLE with this, as the one who went to Eaton has completely different handwriting than the one who went to Harrow.

And the worst part is: English with Roman characters was NOT EVEN DESIGNED FOR JOINED UP WRITING!!!

It was designed to be printed or chisseled with separate and distinct characters that were all uniformly the same.

image

The inscriptions on public buildings, they aren't written in cursive, they are written in block capitals. Consider this:

Idiort: "Huuurrr! Stop shouting! Enough with the CapsLocks, deeeeeerppp heeeeeerp!"

Even people who are trained in cursive writing have to guess and use deduction with other people's handwriting, they have to consider the surrounding context and eliminate possibilities, it's a practice that must go. Cursive handwriting started off as personal shorthand used by clerks trying to write quickly they only had to be understood by themselves and other people close to them.

You know what cursive writing REALLY is? The 17th century equivalent of txt-speak.

In 100 years will students be taught how to read text-gibberish like "M gon 2 c my m8 4m skol"?

Ryotknife:

eggy32:
Just out of curiosity, how many hours are spent teaching children cursive in America? This thread makes it sound like it's a lot. I live in Ireland and I got literally one class on it when I was 10 years old. I like it so I've always used it since then.
I only ask because I can't imagine joined writing being so difficult that it would require more than an hour of teaching.

well....lets see...im 29 and I learned cursive/joined up writing/handwriting in 3rd grade. So about 20 years ago (....queue depression). I would say....maybe a hour a day was spent on cursive for the entire year?

Keep in mind it was mostly a ton of PRACTICE, not actually learning how to do cursive.

I see. Even to someone who learned and uses cursive that seems like a massive waste of time. Good thing they're getting rid of it.

What I don't understand is why joined-up writing is apparently a whole separate subject which consumes teaching resources. In the UK, we were just taught to write, and the writing we were taught was joined-up (I usually write in block capitals now, but anything I write in lower case is joined-up). Are US students taught to write twice? To me, that makes as much sense as teaching maths and subtraction as two separate subjects.

senordesol:
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).

On the SAT you need to fill out an agreement entirely in cursive. If people in Kansas never learn cursive, they won't be able to take the SAT unless the SAT changes as well. Plus signatures are important.

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