Every once in a while I’m surprised by something I hear, something that’s hard to believe but still true.
I was surprised when I first heard that most young people could no longer read cursive script. It’s sad. In my mind, that makes them less literate than students of the past.
There was a time in elementary school when I wondered why I had to learn cursive writing. I was wondering why I couldn’t just print.
Cursive was difficult for me at first. The practice helped. Eventually, my calligraphy became one of the best in class.
It’s still a valuable skill. Even with 21st century technology, sometimes the most convenient thing to do is to just leave someone a note.
There is something to be said for knowing how to put words on paper. One of the best ways to develop skills with a language is to write things down.
Sometimes one who never writes, who always uses electronic shorthand, is likely to be deficient in reading and verbal communication. For this reason, cursive should always be taught in schools.
It may not need to be taught in exactly the same way it was a generation ago, but it still needs to be taught enough that all students learn handwriting as a basic skill.
Maybe a good way to do that would be to make it part of the arts curriculum. Cursive qualifies as a form of creative expression. This leads to visually pleasing results.
There’s something special about a handwritten note. It’s personal. It often has a sincere quality.
It just doesn’t come with an email or text message. These are very standardized and technical. There is not much room for individuality.
People who think we don’t need cursive writing anymore tend to have a short-sighted view of education in general. They think the only purpose of education is to make people employable. They invest in degrees with the idea that the main reason to pursue them is to qualify for better jobs.
I have a saying on my desk at home that education is not just preparation for life, but life itself. It shows how the learning never stops. It is part of life at any age.
It is important to be well rounded with education, to acquire a wide variety of skills. In some cases, technology may have to take a back seat for an hour or two to give students enough time to develop other types of talents.
I don’t think it’s anti-technology or anti-progress to say that. It just goes back to the definition of an educated person.
Someone who only knows how to work with gadgets is not fully educated. Education requires a wide variety of knowledge. It means having a wealth of experience to apply to life situations. It involves critical thinking, problem solving and creative approaches.
A starting point is having the ability to read and write in cursive. It makes sense to have cursive as a life skill instead of just having the communication methods that reflect modern trends. It’s worth the time and effort.