Saturday, July 16, 2011

Paging Palmer & Spencer!

“44 States Discontinue Teaching Cursive Writing!”

How did I miss this?

Many states have adopted the “Common Core State Standards”. The CCSS English Language Arts Standards do not include cursive writing. Likewise, with “No Child Left Behind” cursive writing is not a requirement. So now 44 states have stopped including cursive writing as a skill to be learned. Their focus is on printing and “keyboard skills”.

I’m a product of the Palmer Method (Yes, I am that old.) and I’m slackjawed. This makes absolutely no sense to me. I understand that teachers are increasingly put in the untenable position of wearing far too many hats for their students and “teaching to the test”. But how is a person supposed to read original documents without knowing cursive? What about the development of fine motor skills? And heaven forfend I should ask the question: “What about the art of cursive”?

The emphasis on “keyboard skills”, what I knew as typing, reminds me of the news anchors who say: “To learn more, go to our website and click on such-and-such a link.” It presumes that everyone has a computer and access to the internet. It is narrow minded and insensitive. With reference to no longer teaching cursive, you can add short sighted to that list.

Thankfully, Massachusetts has “re-included” cursive writing as a standard. But with 44 states throwing in the towel I remain disturbed.

Here’s just one article on the issue of cursive instruction from the Huffington Post. But a quick Google search will lead you to many, many more.

Want some inspiration? Go to the IAMPETH website - that’s the International Association of Master Penmen, Engrossers and Teachers of Handwriting.

: : Update: Dorothy Ann Yanni has created a Cursive Handwriting App. Yes, an iPod and iPad APP for cursive handwriting! That’s an integration of classic and contemporary I can get behind!


Ms Brown Mouse said...

I'm sure you can guess what I think about that!
Keyboard skills are fine and dandy, but NOTHING beats the ability to make a quick note, or to write a fine thank you card!

Wendy said...

terrible! We need our children to learn to write and write in cursive and have keyboard skills. theres just so much talk about being short of time or staff, I just cant understand how basic teaching can go down the tubes!

Sue said...

That is awful! I have a shocking handwriting, which comes from incorrect pencil grip when I learnt to write. I really appreciate a good handwriting and hope that as Jake learns cursive (thankfully it's not out of our curriculum just yet. adn he has two different computer classes a week for keyboard skill development!) I can try brush up on my handwriting. Never too old right? I guess I'm always just in a rush...

Sue x

Fiona said...

That is just terrible. And I have to have a little gripe here...teachers are always complaining that they have to work so hard....well my husband works from 8 to 6.30 every day and he works hard, my son works a 12 to 18hour day 7 days a week...I reckon teachers have it quite easy in comparison, they just don't know what hard work is anymore.