Dumbing-down education by dropping cursive writing

Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The BarrCode blog, Mar. 7, 2010

Advocates of the new, pared-down curriculum laud it because it does away with such “irrelevant” subjects as cursive writing. The ability to write longhand is seen as unnecessary, because students in this Brave New World of computers only need know how to type out commands on a computer keyboard.

Sure, the vast majority of students in today’s K through 12 will not become mathematicians or physicists. But simply because these subjects are not “relevant” in this sense, does not diminish or obviate the need to require the students — all students — to take these subjects in order to force them to develop basic analytical skills and an understanding of the forces at work in the world. These are life skills that will enable them to successfully compete later in life and in whatever fields they chose eventually to enter.

So it is with cursive writing. Students learn cursive not because they all will become professional writers or scribes. They learn it, first, because this is one of the primary ways in which modern man for hundreds of years has preserved and communicated ideas. The process of learning cursive also teaches the young mind to think and organize thoughts in a way that flows more easily and imaginatively than the stilted and childish block letters one learns in first and second grades.

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