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 was born in the 50's and my mother taught me to write in cursive before I went to kindergarten. When my teacher wanted me to print my letters, I refused because cursive was prettier. After a parent-teacher discussion I acquiesced. Good penmanship was emphasized both by school and my parents. My dad felt that people would judge you as stupid if your handwriting was poor.To this day, I find writing in cursive to be a pleasure. A pleasure that is missing from keyboard entry. I've worked using technology for many years and sometimes type notes on my iPad or laptop to cut down on paper that I must track. But I find that my memory of information is better if I wrote my notes in cursive. I would be surprised if I were alone in this. And there's something to be said about the self-sufficiency of being able to handwrite rapidly and legibly without relying on electricity, software and hardware. Yes, you need a pen or pencil... but those are so basic and readily at hand.
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      Dec 5 2012: I agree with you about the act of writing as a way of better remembering/learning. I love the physical process of writing.

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