Poll: Should Students Have to Learn Cursive?
Banned books, free lunches, shootings… these are all hot topics for debate when it comes to the educational system. Even writing itself is up for debate as some schools no longer allow their teachers to ask students to complete writing assignments. Yes, it would seem that one skill they will need for life is one that the schools are least concerned with. And when it comes to cursive writing, it’s not so much about the ability to complete a task as it is about the ability to understand one.
Over the years, several things have been taken out of the classroom as they are dubbed no longer useful. But this one could change the future.
Students no longer have to worry about turning in lengthy essays in perfect cursive script, because they are largely working on computers rather than papers. In fact, many schools no longer offer textbooks other than the ones found online. So, what’s the use in knowing cursive writing?
Historical documents. If you can’t read these documents, ones like the Constitution, who will interpret them? A trusted select few? And who deems them trustworthy? Politicians?
In the past, cursive wasn’t just a form of writing, but an art. There was no “delete” key or eraser when documents were penned with quills gliding gracefully across a paper. Some religious sects spent their entire adult lives penning prose by candlelight.
We aren’t asking any of these things from today’s students. But if they are able to at least minimally write cursive, that means they can read it as well. But there are those who argue from the opposite side of the coin, too.
For many, the idea of teaching cursive in schools means wasting time that might be better spent on some other topic, like computer programming or another language. In time, there will almost certainly be programs that can read cursive and translate it to text without any sort of human intervention, so the idea of being unable to read historical documents will be a thing of the past. Of course, this depends on systems always being up and fully functioning.
In either case, the educational system is certainly in need of attention. The question is, where would you like that attention to go? Do you think today’s children should be able to read and write cursive?