Cursive curriculum reasonable in elementary school, ridiculous in high school

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Cursive curriculum reasonable in elementary school, ridiculous in high school

Editorial Board

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A recent school funding bill passed by the Illinois House on April 26 will require students to learn cursive in elementary and high school. The CT as a whole believes this requirement is reasonable for elementary school students but not for high school students, although there is some dissent on this viewpoint.

When the CT staff was in elementary school, students were required to learn cursive as part of the elementary school curriculum. Thus, the entire CT staff learned cursive in elementary school.

But as technology use skyrocketed, schools began to slowly pull cursive out of the classrooms. As of now, the district has eliminated cursive from the elementary school curriculum, replacing it with technology use.

The CT recognizes that people do not handwrite as often as they used to because we now type much of our work. Some staff members believe this makes cursive irrelevant. But, the majority of CT still believes that proper handwriting is a skill that students should continue to learn, as it will be useful throughout life.

Although, by that argument, shouldn’t students just learn how to write in print properly?

While the CT acknowledges that yes, teaching print writing is chiefly important and many students don’t write in the cursive that they were taught in school, most still write in a version of cursive.Cursive is defined as writing that is joined. By that definition, almost everyone writes in some form of cursive.

Cursive not only makes their writing neater, but that it is also an art form of its own. Learning to read cursive is also a lifelong skill that students need, and there is no way to learn it without learning cursive.

One reason cursive used to be taught to children is because it is easier.  When writing cursive, one doesn’t have to pick up his or her writing utensils after writing just a letter, which makes writing faster and therefore, more efficient.

And, as many members of staff pointed out, cursive is aesthetically pleasing. The loops and curves of the letters are much more artistic than print. Supporters of cursive went so far as to call it an “art form” of its own. So, from an artistic standpoint, cursive is much more appealing than print.

Cursive also allows students to create their own handwriting. The definition of cursive is vague for a reason. Just like when they decide how to draw or paint, students are free to decide how to write in cursive, as long as the letters are connected. This freedom of interpretation helps foster creativity in students.

Finally, many historical documents, like the Constitution, were written in cursive. A part of deciphering such documents is reading them.

Currently, the older generation of our parents and grandparents still write in cursive so we can ask our them to tell us what a letter written in cursive says. But forty or fifty years from now, if we still don’t know how to read cursive, then we may lose a part of our past.

Although the CT staff does believe that it is necessary to learn cursive, we do not believe that it is necessary to implement cursive into the high school curriculum.

Students should learn how to write in cursive in elementary school, and it should be reinforced in middle school. By the time students are of high school age, they should have a grasp of cursive, and can review it on their own if they need to.

Overall, the CT believes that cursive is an irreplaceable part of the curriculum, but should be taught to elementary age students, not retaught to high schoolers.

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