TED Conversations

Robert Winner


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Should cursive writing be required in schools?

Only three state have made cursive a part of the core curriculum requirements while 45 states require proficiency in computer keyboarding at the elementry level. Some states have made cursive optional.

Has our society advanced to the point of where handwriting has become unnecessary.

What impacts can you see on not being able to write in cursive. Could printing be just as acceptable?


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  • Dec 2 2012: I don't write in cursive, though I did value the time spent learning it. It was a new skill that needed to be learned. Never wrote cursive afterwards, but it did help me to decipher those that did. It was a new way of thinking about language and how everything fits together and that alone is why it should be taught. Not all that different from printing but enough that kids should ask why, or getting them thinking down the lines of why.

    Now I write all capitals whenever I print anything, if I write in lowercase it is barely legible, write in cursive and if you can decipher what I wrote you are step ahead of the one who wrote it.

    I had learned that they stopped teaching it in our area and I was dumbstruck, but not because it wouldn't be used, but that the opportunity for the kids to expand their knowledge and skills was lost as well. It is an art form same as calligraphy, which I also learned in a graphics class, which was a lot of fun and ultrachallenging for me. Cursive can take benign statements and make them have an altogether different meaning and that is now a lost art.

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