Keeping Cursive Alive

RIGHT NOW, ONE SCHOOL DISTRICT IS DEBATING WHETHER A SKILL THAT USED TO BE MANDATORY; IS STILL PRACTICAL IN THIS DAY AND AGE. CURSIVE HANDWRITING IS A DYING ART – AND THAT’S LEFT MANY TEACHERS AND SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS WONDERING IF IT’S STILL RELEVANT IN CLASSROOMS.

UP NEXT, WE BRING YOU TO THE CENTER OF THE DEBATE IN THE CLASSROOMS OF GREECE, NEW YORK.

TEACHING CURSIVE HANDWRITING HAS BEEN ON THE DECLINE AND SOME SCHOOL DISTRICTS, LIKE GREECE, ARE DEBATING ON GETTING RID OF IT COMPLETELY - DUE TO COMMON CORE REQUIREMENTS. JASON COONEY FROM THE GREECE TEACHERS ASSOCIATION SAYS THERE IS MORE FOCUS ON MATH, SCIENCE AND SOCIAL STUDIES.

Jason Cooney/President, Greece Teachers Association: "Schools can certainly reinforce those things, but I don't think its something that can be a part of the day to day curriculum. There's just not enough time with everything else that's been put on the teacher's plate."

Jeannie McBride/Reporter: "But some school districts in New York state still teach cursive handwriting as part of their curriculum, so students know more than just writing their name."

Matthew Frahm/Superintendent, Naples: "We still teach cursive in the Naples-Central school district, but it has changed in recent years."

NAPLES CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT FOCUSES MORE ON TYPING AT THE ELEMENTARY LEVEL, BUT STILL TEACHES CURSIVE IN THE SECOND GRADE.

Matthew Frahm/Superintendent, Naples: "I think ideally is that once you teach that skill it's something that you're using at a fairly regular basis."

NAPLES BELIEVES THAT CURSIVE IS SOMETHING EVERY STUDENT SHOULD LEARN. AND RESEARCH HAS ALSO SHOWN IT IMPROVES OVERALL BRAIN FUNCTION.

Matthew Frahm/Superintendent, Naples: "It's really important for hand-eye coordination, for dexterity. The teaching of cursive really helps the hand writing process."

BUT OVERALL, THE NAPLES DISTRICT SEES CURSIVE AS AN IMPORTANT TRADITION.

ALTHOUGH WE TEND TO DO MORE TYPING THAN WRITING THESE DAYS, WE STILL SIGN OUR JOHN HANCOCK -- IN CURSIVE -- TO LEGAL DOCUMENTS. IN FACT, OUR FOUNDING FATHERS DID THIS WHEN THEY SIGNED THE DOCUMENT THAT BEGAN OUR COUNTRY – THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE. ONE OF THOSE SIGNERS WAS JOHN HANCOCK HIMSELF, WHO WROTE HIS NAME SO LARGE AND FANCY THAT “JOHN HANCOCK” BECAME SYNONYMOUS WITH A SIGNATURE!

HERE IN OHIO, SCHOOLS ARE NOT REQUIRED TO TEACH CURSIVE, BUT RECENTLY SOME LAWMAKERS TRIED TO CHANGE THAT – INTRODUCING LEGISLATION TO MAKE WRITING IN CURSIVE MANDATORY. NOW WE WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOU THINK: SHOULD LEARNING CURSIVE WRITING BE REQUIRED? TELL US YES OR NO BY GOING TO OUR WEBSITE AND CLICKING THE POLL BUTTON!


Instructional Links


Website Article: Smithsonia, TweenTribune, Flip The Script: Cursive Sees Revival In School Instruction

Website Article: District Administration, Cursive Writing Gains Renewed Momentum In Schools | Discusses controversy, including Ohio.  May need to sign in. Includes leveled articles, vocabulary & quiz.

Website Article: KidZone, Cursive Writing Worksheets | Includes info & worksheets.

Primary Source: The National Archives Catalog, The Declaration of Independence | Scanned document.

Website Article: Library of Congress, Primary Documents in American History, Declaration of Independence | Links to document & other information.

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