Is cursive handwriting a dying form of communication?
By Laura Simon
Mon, 12 May 2014 21:49:38 GMT — Whether or not cursive is still relevant has mixed opinions. Even though itâ??s diminishing in classrooms across the board, some educators say cursive is still a vital cognitive skill to have in 2014."Teachers only have so much time during a school day and they have to prioritize what's important for students to learn and to be able to do, during that time and so it's a matter of if we're given this much time, how much time do we actually want to devote on perfect penmanship," Wilson Elementary Principal Jody Williams said.While teaching cursive is no longer part of the curriculum at Ottumwaâ??s Wilson Elementary School, third grade teacher Lolita Flanders still makes sure her students have the opportunity to learn it."As you can see, once we do our writing everyone just really gets quiet and they love it," Flanders said.For Ms. Flanderâ??s students, she gives her class ten minutes at the end of the school day to practice. "Theyâ??re interested Iâ??m telling you, once I say cursive, everyone just stops, and they love to follow along and not only that, with our big letters, with our capital letters, our words here are all countries and continents, so I incorporate it with my social studies, like Mexico, what continent is that, and also with our word wall words, later on we will be writing our word wall words," she said."Just like with various forms of print cursive handwriting is also a form of print, a form of communication, and so itâ??s one of our goals for our teachers to at least give students a chance to practice it, but itâ??s during very natural times of the day," Williams said.In the Fairfield Community School District, cursive is still in the curriculum."Until I can verify that weâ??re at 100 percent digital, and I can verify that every student and every family has a keyboard at home, and theyâ??re connected to the internet, for me itâ??s still a matter of empowering our kids and equipping them with the skills that they need, and right now in 2014, that means that they need to know how to write in cursive, and they need to know how to keyboard," Marci Dunlap, FCSD curriculum director said.While Wilson Elementary still exposes students to cursive now, they continue to think about the future."What we're asking kids to do and to show what they know is much more complex and much more rigorous today than it has been in the past and so we have to ask ourselves, how much time do we want to devote to cursive writing which may or may not be something that students are gonna use in their future," Williams said.
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