Education

Learning With: ‘Cursive Seemed to Go the Way of Quills and Parchment. Now It’s Coming Back.’

Before reading the article:

Do you know how to write in cursive? If so, who taught you this skill? When you write with a pen or pencil, do you print, write in cursive or alternate between the two? Do you have a signature that you use when you sign forms or other documents?

If you don’t write in cursive, is this a skill you wish you had? Why or why not?

Now, read the article, “Cursive Seemed to Go the Way of Quills and Parchment. Now It’s Coming Back,” and answer the following questions:

1. What role do the Common Core standards seem to have had in the demise in students’ learning to write in cursive? How many states have reintroduced the practice in the recent years?

2. The writer says that these efforts have reignited “a debate about American values and identity” and have exposed “intergenerational fault lines.” How are these ideas developed in the article?

3. What are some of the reasons offered for why some people believe American students should learn cursive?

4. How was writing in cursive once pitched as an act of patriotism?

5. What does research suggest may be the psychological and neurological benefits of handwriting? What do detractors say about those findings? Why?

Finally, tell us more about what you think:

The article says, “Some teachers say policymakers are out of touch with the realities of the modern classroom.” It then goes on to quote teachers who say the time it takes students to learn how to write in cursive interferes with more urgent demands. “Add typing skills, anti-racist pedagogy, add activism skills, add digital literacy” said Noelle Mapes, a third-grade teacher at a public school in Manhattan. “There are so many other things.”

How important do you think it is that students be taught to write in cursive? What priority, if any, should it take? What do you think of the skills Ms. Mapes suggested? Are they important? Place those skills — as well as any others you want to see added to elementary school curriculums — in order of importance. Add cursive writing where you think it belongs, if you would add it at all.

Source :nytimes