I wrote my signature over and over again on every piece of paper I could get my hands on. Sometimes I’d write Katie and sometimes Kathryn. Every once in a while I’d try it out with the last name of the boy I liked to see how my name would look when we were married, when I wasn’t fourteen anymore. I loved the feeling of my hand on the paper, the glide of a really good pen as I curved and swooped the letters.
But the joy of handwriting may be a thing of the past for today’s students as more and more schools are focusing on keyboarding skills and leaving cursive behind. Indiana is the latest state to remove the requirement to teach cursive in its public schools. Rather than learning handwriting, students will be expected to master computer skills. In a memo to administrators and teachers from the Indiana Department of Education, the shift is attributed to the new Common Core Standards and their focus on keyboarding over handwriting.
According to the memo, “Schools may decide to continue to teach cursive as a local standard, or they may decide to stop teaching cursive next year to focus the curriculum on more important areas.” I know there are so many important areas of instruction and keyboarding skills are extremely relevant. However, I cannot imagine a world without handwriting.
Signatures, handwritten notes, journals, written portions of standardized tests. Will these really all be done on computers in the future? Give a kid a computer and she’ll figure out how to hunt and peck on the keyboard in no time. Give her a pen and paper and she’s not going to stumble across an elegant script. She needs to be taught.
So how about you? Do you support the elimination of handwriting from the curriculum?