I was amazed by commenters on this post about taking handwriting out of school curriculums who said that they could neither write nor read cursive. Really? We’re not talking about Old English – just plain old Palmer script. Are there really very many people who can’t read handwriting?
And are there really very many people who think it makes sense not to teach it anymore? Apparently so, and that really bothers me. The argument that nobody needs to write now that we type so much is ridiculous.
Let’s stop teaching math because there are calculators. Let’s stop teaching history and science because there are whole Channels for it. Let’s close down libraries because there’s Wikipedia. And my favorite: let’s stop teaching grammar and spelling because there’s spell-check.Â Hey, let’s raise a nation of ignoramuses because we have technologyÂ as smart as we ought to be.Â And then let’s get mad when other countries raise their standards of living above ours and buy majority stakes in our companies. Awesome.
I’m not saying cursive writing is the American Dream. I’m just saying that I think it’s a necessary form of communication to learn. How on earth will these kids sign a contract, let alone a Hallmark card?
Furthermore, writing things down helps some brains learn better than hearing or seeing or typing. I’ve got one of those brains, and I’d learn and remember things much more slowly if I couldn’t write them down.
I type 80-90 words a minute, and I love my MacBook Pro something fierce – but I love writing by hand. I love the fountain pen that I always have with me, I love pretty papers – and honestly, it would be a huge loss if you told me I could never write anything in cursive ever again. It’s a way to make communication that much more personal – like making it a little bit of art, as well as communication. That they’re taking that away from kids seems awful to me.