"Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments.
Alexander Hamilton

Thursday, June 12, 2014

What's Lost as Handwriting Fades?

That is the title of a story that appeared in the NY Times last week.
Here is a link to the full story. The focus of the article is the shift due to technology from handwriting to keyboard strokes and how it may impact educational development in a negative manner. There may actually be great value in using old fashioned pen and paper.
Being left handed, I always had difficulty with penmanship, which was not infrequently pointed out by the many nuns I had throughout grammar school. I somehow over the years lost the ability to write cursively. I can scribble a few words together, and I can easily read cursive writing, but I just can't write cursively. I always print or when taking notes during college, use my own version of short hand. The thing is that I learned to write cursively, albeit not very well, but once I left grade school, no one forced me to write that way. So I didn't. I still had to write things down though and did not have a tablet or keyboard like mnay have today.
Now days it would seem that kids are not required to write much of anything and cursive writing is getting less and less classroom time. The conclusion of the NY Time article is that writing things down perhaps makes you think better. It's certainly worthy of more investigation and study.


Citizen Jane said...

Someone at the meeting mentioned that when a letter (from a relative, say) arrives for one of his children, he has to read it to them! People who don't learn cursive can neither write nor READ it. As the person who raised this issue said, her kids can't read the original Constitution or Declaration -- or any other handwritten document.

So how do people who don't know cursive deal with a legally required signature?

Mrs. Horace Mann said...

Another left behind by we taxpayers.
We don't seem to care about physical education.
We don't seem to care about our youth learning how to write.
Shame on the school board for allowing these to demise.
Shame on us for voting for this school board.

Anonymous said...

methinks the school had better address this...kids should all learn cursive! Then they need to use it, as in writing thank you notes to people who send them gifts! Is this a novel idea....or what??

Citizen Jane said...

Re: Mrs. Horace Mann: "We don't seem to care about physical education."

Sure we care about phys ed; didn't you know that Common Core now takes care of that too? As in:

What's more, I met a person in Meredith a couple months ago who actually teaches phys ed (somewhere) in NH and said that yes, she is supposed to be doing so in conjunction with CC!

My gast, as ever, is truly flabbered.

Citizen Jane said...

Re: cursive ... in writing thank-you notes

Actually, when it comes to that, I'd be thrilled to receive a printed (or emailed, or verbal) thank-you note.

Mt. Rattler said...

Thank God for IPads , the best tool that our children could ever use! It does everything for them! I'm sure if they use a scanning App it would probably even decipher that ancient cursive altogether. Mind to hand is a thing of the past my friends, it's now time......gulp, to admit,gulp, that we are below the all powerful genius of the modern computer. I believe our wonderful school board knows this; we should let them continue letting Their children be productive members of our collective Society. If they learned cursive, that, expressionistic element of individualism, they may lose them to the reclusive, self indulging, independence of being a thinker. (With a whisper: They might come out of school writing things that would disrupt the fabric of the whole system) leave them alone,please People, the State and our School system knows best! Look at me, I for one was traumatized, the hand cramps at such an early age, and having to keep between the lines! For God's sake leave the kids alone!

Mt. Rattler said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe Cormier/jcormier2@myfairpoint.net said...

Cursive ...

"The origin of the cursive method is associated with practical advantages of writing speed and infrequent pen lifting to accommodate the limitations of the quill. Quills are fragile, easily broken, and will spatter unless used properly. Steel dip pens followed quills; they were sturdier, but ..."

Feathers anyone?


There he goes again with those URL's...

URL's ... My choice of nouveau communicating ... to steer the reader to something relevant.


The "thought" would seem to be far more important than the mechanism to document it and presumably to share it with others.

It's amazing, watching some young folks "texting" and watching the physical coordination between thumb and fingers, on those mini-keyboards.

It's even terrifying, when they are going by you, on I-93 at 70++ MPH!

From a utilitarian point of view with today's tools for communicating ... cursive is obsolete.

Progress folks ...

Now, if the schools will concentrate on teaching the kids to think!

Something old, something new said...

When cleaning up the other day, I found an old slide rule. It was stored in a box when the hand-held electronic calculator became popular and some of you might remember the controversy. Cursive writing along with canning and paper bound books will be around for a long time, but are from the 20'th century, and importance is fading. We should expose our students to cursive writing, but they will not have the practice that previous generations had, and only brought out for 20'th century tasks.

Wake Up said...

Hey, this is not about slide rules or trigonometry or rocket science.

Writing is something basic that all good citizens should have.

How much time per day or per week are we talking about? Beginning in the first grade.

If the school board, administrators, teachers, or parents don't think that there is 5 minutes per day to spend on writing - then extend the school day 5 minutes per day.

Hello parents and school board.
Wake up.