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Still Waters

Do we need to teach joined-up handwriting?

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The US state of Illinois has passed a law requiring school students to learn joined-up handwriting, or "cursive", overriding the governor's veto.

It is no longer a requirement in US schools, and some countries have dropped the skill from the curriculum or made it optional.

Why, then, do some - like the UK - still insist on it in a digital age? Shouldn't children learn to type effectively instead?

While victorious Illinois senators claimed the skill was essential, the reality is that many adults no longer write much by hand.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-41927258

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10 minutes ago, Still Waters said:

The US state of Illinois has passed a law requiring school students to learn joined-up handwriting, or "cursive", overriding the governor's veto.

It is no longer a requirement in US schools, and some countries have dropped the skill from the curriculum or made it optional.

Why, then, do some - like the UK - still insist on it in a digital age? Shouldn't children learn to type effectively instead?

While victorious Illinois senators claimed the skill was essential, the reality is that many adults no longer write much by hand.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-41927258

Any easily taught skill that furthers a child's development of hand-eye coordination is worth teaching. All you need are pencil and paper, chalk and a blackboard. Might as well ask if a child should be taught simple math or how to read an analog clock, when modern conveniences make both superfluous skills.

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I think it's a good thing to know how to write.   There are only 26 letters to learn how to "join-up". It doesn't take long to learn. Joining the letters together was developed for the sake of efficiency, and neatness, in the age of dipping quill in ink.

We were graded on "penmanship"... I've noticed mine has devolved since I don't use it that much.

 

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My daughter (age 31) learned this in school. My son (age 29) did not. The school just stopped teaching penmanship. My son block prints or types everything, his 'signature' is just a scrawl. Guess this is a wave of the future.  

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I think kids should learn how to write in print, cursive, and type well. Adults might not write by hand a lot anymore, but we do still need to be able to do things like sign our own names and read what other people write. And though we do type a lot more now, writing with a stylus has become a lot more common too.

I have terrible handwriting, always have. I do write a lot, and regularly have several notebooks around that I'm using for various subjects.

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Apparently learning to write 'cursive' helps with letter recognition that printing and typing do not.  Speeds the process of learning to read, and activates an area of the brain not affected by typing skills.  Below lifted from an article on line...

Quote

“A study in 2012 went further, putting five-year-old children who had yet to learn to read and write through similar tests - writing, typing, or tracing letters. Then, they were shown images of the same letters and shapes while an MRI machine scanned their brains.
In the children who wrote - but not in those who typed - an area of the brain used in reading activated.
Researchers concluded that it's possible - but not proven - that the physical act of writing might help children learn to read.
"The motor control is important," said Dr Karin James, one of the authors. "Doing things is important in setting up brain systems that are important for cognitive development."
Later research from Dr James also suggests that learning joined letters by watching someone else write them - rather than doing it for yourself - does not provide the same benefit.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-41927258

I learned to write the old fashioned way (almost 70 yrs old) and I do worry about the lack of writing skills of the younger generations.  How they would cope if we suffered some disaster where electricity and devices were unusable?  There is also a quiet satisfaction in being able to hand write in a swift, fluid way.  It also adds the personal aspect to a letter, the knowledge that someone took the time, that typewritten missives lack.  Unfortunately I can see a day in the future where writing (even reading) is a lost art altogether, with voice activated note makers.  We will be back to the days of an elite few being scribes!  What a sad thought.

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I didn't even know handwriting had been dropped in some schools. Back in the days when I was in school the importance of neat handwriting was always drilled into us.

Something written by hand is much more personal, I write to my godmother but that's because she can't use a computer so we exchange handwritten letters. The only drawback with that is it's harder to change anything or if you forget to add something, sometimes I'll use the computer instead and mail her a print-out. Oddly enough too, I find my thoughts flow better when I'm at my computer compared to sitting here with pen and paper.

We've got loads of pens and various notebooks in the house, all in all I write quite a lot.

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My wife's youngest sister, and her fiance' were trying to read what his mom had written in a note for them. It said something like, "I'm going to pick up pizzas", and they thought it had something to do with the laundry, or insurance. They were completely unable to read it at all.

My daughter (age 9) in Home School is learning cursive and she complains that when repeating letters over and over, that it just looks like a wavy line. When doing lines of "n"s and "u"s, it does look like waves drawn for a kids beach drawing. :P

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I was slightly alarmed a few years ago when I realised that even people with Masters degrees can no longer write or read joined up.

As for signatures, if you can print, you can write any young persons signature.

Is lacking cursive good or bad? Being old school, I would say bad, but then again I got a phone call to home yesterday from a colleague asking my to clarify my writing - and that person is well capable of reading and writing cursive. So maybe there are benefits.

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It's like encryption to the people who can't read it :ph34r:

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Now I can write a cryptic book in cursive that mind boggles scholars, code breakers, and scientist a 1000 years from now. 

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Cursive Is a total waste of time. I learned it in school and never used it once since.

Remember the time you take teaching cursive could be better utilized teaching or developing something else.

Edited by spartan max2

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When I was at school cursive was a great way of covering up bad spelling.

Yes my writing is pretty hard to make out.

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3 minutes ago, spartan max2 said:

Cursive Is a total waste of time. I learned it in school and never used it once since.

Remember the time you take teaching cursive could be better utilized teaching or developing something else.

However generally one can write faster using cursive - speeding up note taking in lectures etc.

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I remember writing my spelling words in cursive 5 times each. A capitalized cursive S still screws me over.:lol:

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1 hour ago, DieChecker said:

My wife's youngest sister, and her fiance' were trying to read what his mom had written in a note for them. It said something like, "I'm going to pick up pizzas", and they thought it had something to do with the laundry, or insurance. They were completely unable to read it at all.

My dad's handwriting was difficult to read but sometimes he'd write in print form instead, he always favoured a fountain pen and his writing had a slant to it.  My mum had good handwriting, it was still legible even in her 90's and she had arthritis in her hands.

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28 minutes ago, RAyMO said:

However generally one can write faster using cursive - speeding up note taking in lectures etc.

I guess one could argue that lol. But you can write even quicker with a laptop which is what most will use to take notes in college. Or I did at least since it was faster.

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Ahh its a different age.

 

<------ Edit to Add: New title - no longer Ectoplasmic Residue. That had some really bad connotations in my mind 

Edited by RAyMO
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You can teach first graders to write cursive, or let them waste time, finger painting, which is nothing more than occupational therapy for morons.

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On 11/11/2017 at 10:26 AM, spartan max2 said:

I guess one could argue that lol. But you can write even quicker with a laptop which is what most will use to take notes in college. Or I did at least since it was faster.

This is true. The whole learning to write reminds me of math when calculators came along! I was horrified when I saw most younger people without a device like when the electric goes can't multiple or divide at all. It might not be used much but it should be taught to younger kids so if they need to use it in some rare instance. 

 

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On 11/11/2017 at 6:52 AM, spartan max2 said:

Cursive Is a total waste of time. I learned it in school and never used it once since.

Remember the time you take teaching cursive could be better utilized teaching or developing something else.

As someone pointed out, other useful brain connections may be fostered by learning cursive writing.  That is the only reason I can see to maintain it.  It is faster than printing, but not as fast as typing usually.  It provides useful clues to the identity of the killer on crime shows.  Its collectible,  Thomas Jefferson's signature is worth a lot more than his name printed in any typeface.

If we think eye-hand coordination, pattern recognition, separation of data from noise and variation  is developed by cursive writing, maybe learning Chinese characters would be even better, 

In Japan where they use Chinese characters as well as three other sets of symbols counting the English alphabet, they have a similar problem with their young people.  There is now a core of 3000 Chinese characters that need to be learned in school.  Two generations ago I am told it was more like 15,000.  Kids today, and their grandparents.

 

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yes children should be forced to learn to type, so they are not hunt and peck typists like me,( I truly wish I had learned typing back when only type writers needed it) but they need to learn cursive too at least enough to prefect  their signature. people learn best when they are still young after about the age of 25 to 30 only the best brains can continue learning at the rate they did as a child.

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Do we need to teach children cursive writing?

I learned it in 3rd grade (1960s) and the only practical application I found for it is signing my name ... which is an unreadable scribble anyway. :) Most paper forms I've used over the years only require printed letters and now often can be done online (like medical forms). Some websites consider typing your name to be a valid digital signature.

Mom had beautiful handwriting and so does my wife. Even my brother has a pretty nice style of writing. Dad's was chicken scratch. I must have gotten his chicken scratch gene as my cursive has always been terrible. I just don't see the everyday utility value of it, really. Maybe as an art form, yes.

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I've always loved historical documents in the original handwriting. I remember doing research at the library and the courthouse when that was the only way available. I've got letters written by family members 100 to 175 years ago. I hate to think my generation will be the last, on average, to be able to read them. They give such insight to a much different time.

Edited by Michelle

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On 11/11/2017 at 8:50 AM, Susanc241 said:

Apparently learning to write 'cursive' helps with letter recognition that printing and typing do not.  Speeds the process of learning to read, and activates an area of the brain not affected by typing skills.  Below lifted from an article on line...

The article was a little frustrating just in that the title refers to 'joined-up' (I did learn a new term so that's a plus) /cursive writing, but all of the scientific references just referred to writing versus typing or tracing.  It didn't make much of a distinction as to why specifically cursive would be needed, I assume that block letters would confer the cognitive benefit also.

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