July 24, 2014

Handwriting a useful skill for students

The issue: State department of education is surveying how much schools teach cursive handwriting.
Our View: Handwriting is a necessary skill that should continue to be taught
in the classroom.

Another once reliably useful skill may be about to land on the dustbin of history along with Latin and typewriting.
The Kansas Department of Education is surveying just how much time districts are spending teaching cursive handwriting. And the proverbial writing might be on the wall – too much based on its usage in the real world.
Results of the survey will be presented to the state board of education, but there’s little room for doubt that teachers are spending less time teaching handwriting as students do more and more work on computers.
We would hate to see cursive writing go extinct in schools. In an emergency or crisis, being able to handwrite a quick note or read one is of critical importance. Students should be able to write just as they should be able to do some basic math without a calculator.
And handwriting teaches students other skills – like spelling without spell check. We worry that many students view texting spelling as the appropriate way to communicate, and that’s a problem. Handwriting also helps students in reading, language and critical thinking, according to the National Association of State Boards of Education.
While we don’t believe schools should devote hours each day to cursive writing, it’s a skill we believe students should have in the future.

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