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Education Lab Blog

Education Lab is a yearlong project to spark meaningful conversations about education solutions in the Pacific Northwest.

November 14, 2013 at 5:19 PM

Poll: Should children still learn cursive in school?

Photo by Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times

Photo by Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times

The debate over Common Core has unearthed a new sticking point: cursive.

According to a story published today by the Associated Press, at least seven states (California, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, North Carolina and Utah) have moved to include script-writing instruction in their Common Core standards.

Why? Cursive advocates say penmanship practice helps students develop a wide range of skills and personal qualities, from creative thinking and hand-eye coordination to the ability to read historic documents.

Critics, meanwhile, point to the proliferation of digital tools in modern classrooms and to the keyboard’s continuing rise as a preferred communication tool.

“If you just stop and think for a second about what are the sorts of skills that people are likely to be using in the future, it’s much more likely that keyboarding will help students succeed in careers and in school than it is that cursive will,” Morgan Polikoff, an assistant professor of K-12 policy and leadership at the University of Southern California, told the AP.

So what do you think? Is cursive instruction destined to become the next casualty of the digital age?

Oh, and while we’re at it, do you still use cursive?

Related: Roosevelt High School teacher gives her students a review in cursive (May 23, 2010)

Comments | More in Poll | Topics: curriculum, cursive, handwriting

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