I read this article over the weekend, and got into a Twitter discusison this morning about it.
Basically, the article talks about schools eliminating the teaching of cursive writing to its students because they’re priming students for 21st century schools, i.e. everything via computer, nothing by hand. Really? So writing by hand is being lost? I don’t agree.
My initial reaction was one of shock. And maybe that’s because I’m older and the thought of children not being taught cursive writing means they also won’t be taught to read cursive writing. And the jumping off point of that was allt he historical documents written in cursive. Oh, you know, like this one:
(Courtesy of Archives.gov )
I mean, sure, you can read the printed text of the Declaration of Independence on the computer. But if you’re not taught to write and read cursive, you will never know the thrill of reading the original Declaration of Independence, or scores of other documents of our history that were written back in the day when cursive was all that was used.
It makes me sad to think of the potential loss to our children and grandchildren. Now I’m a big techno geek and I handwrite very little myself these days because I do everything on my laptop. You should see my signature….gah. It’s not pretty. But I do know how to handwrite and I can read in cursive. I will never lose that ability because it was taught to me in school. Our children should at least have the same benefit.
And how the hell will our children be able to sign their names? Will their signatures be printed in the future because it’s the only way they know? Kind of hard to have a unique signatorial identity when all you can do is print your name.