Traditional Cursive Writing Is Becoming Extinct, Notes Carl Hudson
Carl Hudson, an educator in the New York City Public school system, reflects on an article discussing the decline of cursive writing.
New York, New York (PRWEB) May 14, 2013
Carl Hudson is speaking out on a new trend that has cursive disappearing from the curriculum in American classrooms. The majority of states are adopting new national standards, which fail to include cursive writing. This means that soon, this type of communication may disappear entirely. Even to older students, cursive is often a foreign concept. These individuals use laptops and tablets where pupils previously had to rely heavily on notebooks and pens. Whereas some children needed the skill to respond to handwritten letters in years past, now most people use Facebook, e-mail, and Skype. This includes elderly grandparents and relatives who may have previously engaged in written correspondence featuring cursive writing.
Educators remain focused on equipping their students with typing skills, thus ensuring that they are fully prepared for a computer-based world. As they shift the focus to electronics, the need for proper penmanship continues to decline, thus rendering cursive obsolete. This is especially true for schools that face jam-packed curricula and tight school budgets.
Michael Hairston, who is the president of the Fairfax Education Association, has deemed cursive “a dying art.” He notes, “Educators are having to make choices about what they teach with a limited amount of time and little or no flexibility. Much of their instructional time is consumed with teaching to a standardized test.”
Since 2010, 45 states (including Arizona and the District of Columbia) have adopted the Common Core Standards. Using these requirements, cursive instruction is not mandatory. Instead, individual states and districts can choose whether or not they will teach it. The Miami-Dade public school system recently conducted a report, which reveals that cursive instruction has slowly declined since the 1970s.
Those who support the use of cursive handwriting note that many of the country´s important historical documents were written in script, including the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. They explain that future historians who are unable to read cursive may not have the ability to study these original historical texts.
Carl Hudson comments on these developments, noting, “Cursive instruction is just one of many ways in which education continues to evolve to accommodate modern technology and standardized tests. While many pupils probably will not need to use this type of writing regularly, it is important that they at least understand what it is and how to read it.”
Educators have mixed opinions on the importance of teaching cursive in schools. Steve Graham, who is one of the top U.S. experts on handwriting instruction, states, “I have to tell you, I can´t remember the last time I read the Constitution. The truth is that cursive writing is pretty much gone, except in the adult world for people in their 60s and 70s. When you think about the world in the 1950s, everything was by hand. Paper and pencil. Right now it´s a hybrid world.”
Lately, several states have tried to reinstitute cursive writing. California, Georgia, and Massachusetts have all enacted laws that mandate cursive instruction. Last month, legislators in Idaho approved a bill advising the state Board of Education to add cursive in the curriculum. Carl Hudson comments on these developments, noting, “Schools must change with the times, but should also aim to provide pupils with a diverse education.”
Carl Hudson is an educator who obtained his bachelor of science in applied economics and statistics from Cornell University. Hudson also holds two master´s degrees. He takes his extensive education and uses his knowledge to help pupils in the New York City Public School system achieve excellence.
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