Monday, February 25, 2013

To Keep Cursive Alive

"Bill Would Require N.C. Schools To Teach Cursive Handwriting."

In the age of texting, tweeting and other technological ways of communicating, North Carolina’s elementary school students could soon have to master a more old-fashioned craft: writing in cursive.

A bill introduced in the state House this week would once again make cursive handwriting a part of the curriculum in state elementary schools. The “Back to Basics” bill also would require elementary students to memorize multiplication tables, though state education officials say that’s already part of the curriculum.

North Carolina’s move to bring back cursive comes at a time when other states from California to Massachusetts also are trying to revive what’s become a lost skill.

We're in a transitional stage at which we can either let cursive die, or make a determination to keep it alive. Why would you want to? Well, our founding documents - - The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are written in cursive. Certainly you can find printed versions on the internet, but what if you were standing in front of one of the documents itself? You'd be lost without cursive. Say that you found an old diary in the attic, written in cursive - - you cannot read it; are you willing to trust it to a stranger to read for you? Anything that was written down before the advent of computers was probably written in cursive, and that is still a lot of material. Are we simply losing our capacity as humans to absorb lots of skills? Must we admit that we're less capable than our parents and grandparents? I'd hate to think so.

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