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Monday, February 2, 2009

Friendly debate, anyone?

Now, I'm not one for stirring up trouble. Well... okay, maybe just a little. Anyhoo, I was watching a cable news program the other day, and I was privy to a most interesting debate. Should kids continue to be taught cursive writing in school? Or, is this just "old school," throw it out and teach them to type instead? I'll not say where I stand on this issue at this point and time. (Don't be fooled, I do have an opinion on this matter.)

Some feel as though cursive writing is a dying art-form. If we loose it, we will lose something sacred. And, others believe that teaching young children to type is the only way to insure their success in a media and techno savvy driven world. From text-ing and emailing, to blogging and AIMing, to mediums such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc., those who don't learn to be proficient in their typing skills will be left behind. Although, isn't it nice to receive a handwritten note or letter by "snail mail" every once and a while? And, isn't it important that children today learn how to write smoothly and effortlessly when taking notes? (Oh yeah, there's the laptop and other means by which to do so.) What do you think? Are you for one or the other? Or, are you torn right down the middle?

Just thought I'd ask... talk amongst yourselves.


Shoe Mood:

Can you "Guess" what I think? Tee! Hee!
(I know, I'm such a doof!)


AnneB said...

It's not either/or, it's both/and. They need to learn both, and learn them well. And the schools I'm familiar with are doing a poor job at both.

Captain Hook said...

1) Cursive is necessary. What are people going to do? Start printing their name on documents? No. Signatures will still be needed. Granted, for everyday life, cursive is not as vital as it once was, but I see no reason to drop it entirely.

2) There is no reason that schools can't teach both.

3) The typing classes taught in schools are worthless to people like me. I was born with only one hand and, quite literally, can not type the way they teach. And when I took it, they had no accommodations made for people who had to learn to do things differently.

Rena said...

I think it should be taught, in addition to typing. I teach cursive writing to my kids (we homeschool) and they don't mind it that much.

When I was in high school (way back before dinosaurs ruled the earth) I took several years of typing. We had to type with typewriters that had the keys painted over so we had to learn the proper placement. My husband never took typing and of course, uses a keyboard constantly for work now, so he has to hunt & peck.

I think both are equally important, to be honest.

CJ Raymer said...

Yes! I totally agree with you gals. I can't understand why schools today might find it difficult to teach both cursive and typing...and do it WELL! I was a home-educator for eight years, and I firmly believed that both were vital. Why must we jump to dump things that have served us well, just because we think the newest necessity trumps it all? It reminds me of the old book and new reading gadget debate. Peaceful coexistence, people! XOXO

Bish Denham said...

There is absolutely no reason why both can't be taught. I think learning cursive helps to develop manipulative hand/eye coordination skills. And certainly we don't want to get to the point where people put an X on the line for their signature because they don't know how to write!

Not only that...One's signature is rather like a finger print. It is unique and says something about you. There can be artistry and expression in a signature. Just think how dull the Declaration of Independence would be without all those wonderful signatures. Plus we wouldn't have the phrase, "Put your John Hancock here."

Ghost Girl said...

Amen, everyone. I agree. We could get into the brain science of it all, but why? Suffice it to say that both are necessary for our kids' development and they can certainly spend some time learning both.

My dyspraxic darling will always struggle with handwriting, and the doctor has suggested that she be allowed to use a keyboard as she gets further along in school, but I think it is important for her to develop those skills as much as she can. Learning cursive is good for artistic/creative and mathematical development as well as motor skills and coordination.

CJ Raymer said...

Bish and Mary Ann - Again, I must concur! (Especially, the artist in me.) XOXO

Angela said...

I think it should still be taught. There's nothing wrong with slowing down and seeing the beauty of letters. It quiets the mind and helps us understand the power words can have, and they should not be used in haste or without care. It teaches up to respect words.

Typing is a good skill to learn as well and I think it should also be taught--it will aid with the tech-savvy necessity and hopefully avoid some of the injuries that occur from improper typing.

Ghost Girl said...

You're absolutely right, Angela. There is a greater connection to the words when you are forming them with your own hands, every line and curve.

I don't know if typing has the same effect as writing when it comes to learning is something. You know that if you write it down, you'll remember much better.

And I just think that the intimacy of writing each letter brings something more to our sense of literacy.

CJ Raymer said...

Angela and Mary Ann - Right on! (Or, should I say "write" on?)

Well ladies, I guess this wasn't much of a debate after all... hmmmmm? Looks like I'll have to come up with something else. Muwahahahaha!

However, we did get our emotions stirred up a bit, eh? XOXO

Kelly said...

They should be taught printing and cursive definitely. They need cursive for their signature, and it is much quicker to handwrite in cursive than to print. Not to mention being able to read others' cursive writing when needed.
Typing was an elective in high school, and I am so glad I took it (my mom made me). I can type so much faster and easier than my husband hunts and pecks!

Marcia said...

I made all my kids take keyboarding (what they call it now) in HS. They all learned cursive, but I notice that young women print, almost invariably. You'd think they'd want the speed of cursive. ??? On the other hand, mine is now much more scrawly than it used to be. I used to write "pretty" and don't take the time anymore. I've also learned to compose at the keyboard (used to write drafts in longhand, but deadlines demanded more speed).

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