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Education Lab Blog

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

Topic: cursive

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November 15, 2013 at 1:17 PM

Your voices: Readers weigh in on early education, cursive

Despite Wednesday’s introduction of a federal bill to dramatically expand free preschool, few hands went up when we asked readers for their thoughts on early learning. Here’s an excerpt of what Liz Smith of Bellevue had to say in response to the question, “How can we better prepare young children for kindergarten?”:

Be like France, pay their mothers to stay home with them for the first three years of their lives.  Invest in parents spending time with and raising their children … Read to children, take them to museums, have them participate in fun art and music, and keep that going throughout their educations. … Encourage parents to invest their time and energy in family activities.  Don’t pressure them to be reading before they are ready … keeping them engaged is more important to their future learning than cramming academics down their throats before they are of the age to benefit from it.

Cursive, on the other hand, proved to be a livelier topic, with two related reader polls bringing in a total of nearly 700 votes — and counting. Several people also commented on the value, or lack thereof, of continuing to teach children to write in script:

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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.

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