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Not teaching cursive - Page 2

post #21 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktgrok View Post
I think people don't realize that pretty handwriting isn't just a matter of effort or education. I have horrible handwriting. I never learned cursive well. But not for lack of trying!!! I got straight A's in school except for handwriting. I always got C's in handwriting. I was taught over and over. I was sent to a separate area of the room to do copy work to try to give me more practice. When I got older I tried all different styles and practiced and practiced because I hated that my writing wasn't pretty like my friends' writing. But you know what, it still is just ok, certainly not pretty. If I want it to be at all decent i really have to concentrate. My printing is much better, and easier for me, compared to my cursive. And to imply that someone had a poor education or is less intelligent because they don't have attractive handwriting really bugs me.
I fully agree.
post #22 of 33
Honestly, besides my signature, the only thing I've ever been asked to write in cursive since we learned it in elementary school was an honor code on the SATs. (Which was embarrassing, because I was dead last to finish out of the group, but seriously, it was one test) And this was about a decade ago, so they may have changed that now too. Nobody in college used cursive that I remember, in fact, you got docked if your papers were not typed. When we learned cursive in 3rd grade they assured us that from that point forward everyone would expect us to do everything in cursive and it simply wasn't true. We learned it and then lost it. Almost everything is done on computers now, and any sort of formal work will almost certainly be expected to be typed. I did have a job that required hand writing for triplicates, or various sales contracts. The most important thing was that they were legible- and in my experience most peoples print is far more legible than their cursive. I also find printing is faster- I would NEVER have kept up with my notes if I wrote them all in cursive. Actually, my grandmother writes notes in cursive that are impossible to decipher, not because they are in cursive per say, but because something about cursive makes people completely fail to form their letters at all. You can make out the first letter of the word, and then its a line with the occasional bump. My parents signatures are the same way. I think, if he can read it and write his name, he's good to go. Its possible one day he'll want to learn if his career or artistic interests take him there, but I don't think its a life skill thats is going to be used very often.
post #23 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktgrok View Post
And to imply that someone had a poor education or is less intelligent because they don't have attractive handwriting really bugs me.
Thank you for saying this. My son (who has dysgraphia as well as dyslexia) may very well struggle with a bias such as this when he is older. Which would be a shame in part because he is so intelligent and creative.

Smart people with dyslexia can struggle with spelling as well. My husband does. But he's a professional with a college education and he does just fine.

The use of a computer with spell check is a very helpful accomodation for people with these learning differences.

While it's true that this is a prevalent bias, a personal bias isn't a very convincing argument in support of a position. For example, someone could say:

Fat people should lose weight because I think fat people are lazy and unattractive.

People shouldn't homeschool their children because when I hear someone has been homeschooled, I assume they are unsocialized weirdos.

Parents shouldn't make their kids wear worn hand-me-downs, because when I see a kid wearing them, I think the family must be poor and lower-class.
post #24 of 33
If this was mentioned already, sorry. But what about Italics? It's similar to cursive in that the letters are joined to make it flow better but the letters are the same as their printed counterparts, unlike cursive and why so many don't like cursive. Many more hsers are using this now instead of cursive. There are handwriting books teaching it and even free on-line instruction.

I've told my kids they have to be able to read cursive and I show them the basics but beyond that, they just need to be able to write legibly. I encourage them to do their own version of writing that still joins the letters which is more similar to italics but still has a few cursive letters in there.
post #25 of 33
hmm. i've never really put much thought into this question. personally, my kids will both learn cursive, but whether or not it's necessary? i would probably be in the "no" camp. i know many adults (educated adults) that write like chicken scratch. i've never equated their terrible penmanship to lack of education, let alone questioned if they could actually even write in cursive. i can't imagine how that would even come up or be my concern. i agree that knowing how to read cursive penmanship is very necessary, but writing it? i think you could get by in life just fine without any issues.
post #26 of 33
Oubliette--What about your exams in college? Didn't you use blue books and such and write your exams? Or did you have a major that required absolutely no essays and such?
post #27 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by umsami View Post
Oubliette--What about your exams in college? Didn't you use blue books and such and write your exams? Or did you have a major that required absolutely no essays and such?
I'm not Oubliette, but I am one of the folks who never cared for cursive. I learned it in school, but I used it only when required.

My professors in college never had any trouble with my printing. I never felt that I couldn't write quickly enough on exams.

I'm teaching my kids Getty-Dubay Italic. I see no reason why they need to know how to write traditional cursive.
post #28 of 33
Yep, we used blue books, but no one cared if we printed or wrote in cursive. In fact, I had one teacher that told us that he preferred we print, because printing is easier to read (because of what was mentioned above about some people completely forgetting to actually form letters when writing quickly in cursive). If cursive is faster for some people, that's fine, but it isn't for everyone. It happens to be faster for me when I'm taking notes or something like that that only I have to read, but if I'm writing quickly for someone else to read, I'll almost always choose to print - it's more standardized and more likely to be legible. I can write beautifully in cursive, but to make it both beautiful and legible, it takes a lot longer than just printing.
post #29 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by skueppers View Post
I'm teaching my kids Getty-Dubay Italic. I see no reason why they need to know how to write traditional cursive.
I don't believe that one has to know a traditional cursive--I'm not arguing for Spencerian script or anything. Italics are fine (Getty-Dubay, D'Nealian, etc.)... because in the later grades, the letters are joined and you do have a form of cursive. (It's referred to as cursive as well.) I think in many ways, they make a lot more sense in teaching as the transition is much easier. http://www.allport.com/Catalog_Produ...28&prodid=1787 But yes, I do believe that children should be taught a form of cursive--be it italics or not.
post #30 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by umsami View Post
Oubliette--What about your exams in college? Didn't you use blue books and such and write your exams? Or did you have a major that required absolutely no essays and such?
I am currently in college and yes I have to essays and even use blue books (although they really seem like wasted paper to me!) and professors ask you to print. And often say if you do write in cursive it has to be AMAZING otherwise they won't be able to read it.

Also many exams are administered on computers and you type the essays.

I, for one, think there is no need to learn to write in cursive. I only ever sign my name and really it can't be called real "cursive" because its entirely illegible.

I think even Martha Stewart would agree that using your computer and a nice font would be better than most people's cursive for making place cards. (someone mentioned that upthread as a reason to learn cursive)

And if we are talking about someone who is 9 now, imagine what offices and work will look like in 10-15 years! Somehow I doubt they'll be handed tons of cursive written memos. The liability of handwriting a MEMO is huge, you need a paper trail, you'll get it as an email, (directly to your brain and you'll click on the links it by blinking your eyes) but I digress!
post #31 of 33
I think your professors are saying that because handwriting has declined so badly due to most kids these days typing and texting everything--as well as all of the standardized, fill-in-the-bubble tests. The point is that your professors want something legible--no different from when I was in college.

To the OP, here's an article on "Handwriting Key to Learning"
http://www.newsweek.com/2007/11/03/t...-the-wall.html

You also might want to look into the work of Steve Graham of Vanderbilt University (also quoted in the article above). He found that teachers will routinely grade somebody's paper whose handwriting is neat and legible much higher than the exact same content that is written poorly. Also, a study of the written portion of the SAT from 2006, showed that those that wrote in cursive (only 15%) scored significantly higher on the writing portion.

I'd also say... why not teach your son... rather than limit him? Even if it turns out to be a lost skill--it will be a skill he possesses. He's at the optimum age to learn--be it Italic or otherwise--and it requires very little time out of one's day (10-15 minutes per day). I've rarely heard people regret things they did learn, but rather, they tend to regret those things that they didn't learn as a child.

Stepping out of the discussion. I do think that handwriting is an important skill to learn--regardless of how computer-focused we are. Just as I believe that learning to add, subtract, multiply, and divide are important even though calculators and computers are widely available. I have no need for somebody to write place cards--I would hire a graphic designer or calligrapher for that. But I also do not need somebody who is so tied to a computer or Blackberry, that they cannot communicate otherwise.
post #32 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by ReadingMama View Post
Thank you for saying this. My son (who has dysgraphia as well as dyslexia) may very well struggle with a bias such as this when he is older. Which would be a shame in part because he is so intelligent and creative.

Smart people with dyslexia can struggle with spelling as well. My husband does. But he's a professional with a college education and he does just fine.

The use of a computer with spell check is a very helpful accomodation for people with these learning differences.

While it's true that this is a prevalent bias, a personal bias isn't a very convincing argument in support of a position. For example, someone could say:

Fat people should lose weight because I think fat people are lazy and unattractive.

People shouldn't homeschool their children because when I hear someone has been homeschooled, I assume they are unsocialized weirdos.

Parents shouldn't make their kids wear worn hand-me-downs, because when I see a kid wearing them, I think the family must be poor and lower-class.
Thank you for this post! I believe that I suffer/ suffered from dysgraphia. I remember that in 3rd grade they started pulling me out of regular class for a "special" class. It wasn't special ed, it was something made just for children with dyslexia. Only, the instructors said I didn't have regular dyslexia. They told me that I had "physical" dyslexia. This affected things like learning to tie my shoes and learning to ride a bike. It likely also affected my handwriting, which is probably what tipped the school off in the first place.

What's funny is that while I was being taken out for this "special" class for dyslexic children, I was also being pulled out of class for Gifted and Talented (GT) classes. This further cemented the fact that I didn't suffer from classic dyslexia. I excelled in Language Arts. My brain was just improperly wired for certain physical tasks. Unfortunately for me, there wasn't much known about dysgraphia at the time. They didn't even know what to call it, apparently. As such, beyond that one year of special in-school therapy, my difficulties were largely ignored. I continued to struggle with handwriting and many other physical tasks that others had no problems with.

I am far from unintelligent or uneducated. There are many people with vastly better handwriting skills than myself, who simply can't string together a proper sentence either on paper OR in real life. Neat handwriting clearly isn't the tell-all marker of educational success. While it is somewhat embarrassing to struggle with something that most people (women, especially) excel at, I do not find it very limiting academically. Beyond elementary school I cannot think of one example where I was required to use cursive (aside from the obvious requests for my signature.) In fact, the only time I usually hand write anything is on applications and forms, in which they clearing request at the top to please PRINT the information.

I will admit that since I've now spent so many years predominantly typing my thoughts out on computer, I find it even more difficult than before to write anything out by hand. I'm not sure if this is purely from lack of practice, or if it's related to my ever-advancing carpal tunnel. In either case, I have to focus incredibly hard to maintain my handwriting at the beginning of a lengthy note... and invariably by the end I am in physical pain and struggling to make the letters and words legible at all. I had to fill out an in-depth patient registration form for my daughter today. Looking back over the form, I made it about halfway through the first page before it started to slip. By the last page, I was really struggling and it shows.

I'm sure that when people see my handwriting, they pass judgments about my intelligence or assume that I am a sloppy/ lazy person. Thankfully, it is a rare occurrence for someone to read my handwriting but never meet me face-to-face. My in-person conversational skills far surpass my handwriting skills; and that seems to be all that matters to 99% of the people I encounter.
post #33 of 33
I also want to add:

Apparently cursive was much more widely used in years past. My DH and I recently had to pull up a deed to piece of property his father may have owned. We discovered that the deed had not been amended since 1938. We were trying to figure out the specifics of the deed, but in truth found it VERY difficult because the notary had written the entire thing in cursive! Normal cursive I can read. I can also understand legal mumbo-jumbo. Even farther, I can easily decipher things written in the vernacular of that time. However, I struggled to understand even 50% what of that deed laid out. The man had horrible cursive handwriting. Horrible. I would much rather have been trying to decipher something printed by a man with terrible handwriting, rather than battling this ancient cursive jumble of words.
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