Cursive: Not a Waste of Time (Sam Howerton)

“Cursive handwriting will no longer be taught in schools because it’s a big, old waste of time.” So reads the title of a 2013 article on E! Online by John Boone.  In it he argues that typing on a computer is a skill of more importance than knowing how to write cursive. He quotes Morgan Polikoff, assistant professor of K-12 policy and leadership for the University of Southern California: “It’s much more likely that keyboarding will help students succeed in careers and in school than it is that cursive will.” Boone continues to argue that spelling should be taught in more depth rather than cursive, which is reasonable. But according to Boone, cursive writing should be abandoned completely.

However, Linden Bateman, former State Representative for Idaho, argues in favor of teaching cursive, explaining how “more areas of the human brain are engaged when children use cursive handwriting than when they use the keyboard.”  Boone, however, goes against this point, simply stating, “there are plenty of other ways that kids can develop hand-eye coordination that doesn’t involve spending a year of their prime development time learning a new alphabet.”

Although this could certainly be a valid point, according to Suzanne Baruch Anderson, an occupational therapist for the Beverly Hills Unified School District in California, “learning to write in cursive is shown to improve brain development in the areas of thinking, language and working memory.” The argument for teaching cursive handwriting remains a heated debate even four years after Boone’s article was first published. Although both sides have reasonable points, cursive handwriting should still be taught in schools. It is not a “big, old waste of time.”

Works Cited
Anderson, Suzanne Baruch. “The Benefits of Cursive Go Beyond Writing.” The New York Times.  30 April 2013. Web. 24 Nov. 2017.

Boone, John. “Cursive Handwriting Will No Longer Be Taught in Schools Because It’s a Big, Old Waste of Time.” E! Online. 15 Nov. 2013. Web. 24 Nov. 2017.

Smyth, Julie Carrr. “Should students learn cursive? Some states say yes.” Yahoo. 14 Nov. 2013. Web. 24 Nov. 2017.

 

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