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Is this the end of handwriting? Indiana schools to teach keyboard skills instead
The Daily Mail UK ^ | Last updated at 6:40 AM on 7th July 2011 | By DAILY MAIL REPORTER

Posted on 07/07/2011 7:52:05 AM PDT by newzjunkey

...[Indiana] State officials sent school leaders a memo April 25 telling them that instead of cursive writing, students will be expected to become proficient in keyboard use.

The Times of Munster reports the memo says schools may continue to teach cursive as a local standard, or they may decide to stop teaching cursive altogether...

...'The skill of handwriting is a dying art,' [East Allen County Schools Superintendent Karyle Green] said. 'Everything isn’t handwritten anymore.'...

Winning: The key board wins as students will no longer be assessed on the handwriting style in third and fourth grade

From now on, second-graders will be taught cursive. But students will no longer be assessed on the handwriting style in third and fourth grade.

'We think it’s still important for kids to be able to read cursive,' Hissong said.

'But after that, it begins to become obsolete.'

Andree Anderson of the Indiana University Northwest Urban Teacher Education Program says teachers haven't had the time to teach cursive writing for some time because it's not a top priority...

(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; US: Indiana
KEYWORDS: cursive; daniels; education; handwriting
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To: catfish1957

What is “teh”?


151 posted on 07/07/2011 1:57:24 PM PDT by wintertime
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To: catfish1957

Your predecessors lamented the loss of ‘thee’ and ‘thou’ as well as ‘thy’ in general communication as well. :P

‘Teh’ is a common typo. I won’t bother trying to defend ‘b4’ because that annoys me as well.


152 posted on 07/07/2011 2:04:30 PM PDT by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: wintertime

A common typo for ‘the’ - among other usages.


153 posted on 07/07/2011 2:05:12 PM PDT by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: wintertime

Focal hand dystonia is a very real condition in about 5% of the population. Cursive is a theory with them.


154 posted on 07/07/2011 2:38:14 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: discostu
Most of my ancestors couldn’t install an operating system, I can.

Let's see, I bet you can fix a wagon wheel, shoe a horse, mill grain, build a home, build a cistern, an outhouse, and push a plow until your hands are blistered. Yeah you are a hell of guy. /s

155 posted on 07/07/2011 2:38:31 PM PDT by catfish1957 (Hey algore...You'll have to pry the steering wheel of my 317 HP V8 truck from my cold dead hands)
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To: catfish1957

Way to complete and deliberately miss the point. Let’s look at some of those sentences you deliberately skipped:
Evaporating skills are not society getting dumb, they’re society moving on. There’s other skills we’ve had to learn in the new modern world.

So of course I don’t have those skills you listed entirely to be argumentative, because our society has moved on. But I have other skills, like installing an OS and then using it, because those are the skills needed in a modern society. Every time somebody lists skills off that we no longer have they carefully ignore the fact that we don’t need them anymore either. Necessary skills don’t fade from the societal set, the skills that fade are the useless ones. Like cursive.


156 posted on 07/07/2011 2:49:15 PM PDT by discostu (Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn)
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To: muawiyah
Focal hand dystonia is a very real condition..
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

I certainly believe that is possible. It would be like any other motor skill such as not being able to dance, for instance.

157 posted on 07/07/2011 4:26:20 PM PDT by wintertime
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To: wintertime
Or, not having any legs! Did you notice it's associated with several other well known phenomenon.
158 posted on 07/07/2011 4:43:31 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: discostu
Cursive was useful within a certain cost-benefit situation. Today it costs more to develop than it returns ~ and, it may interfere with time needed to develop a great deal of skill with keyboards and control units.

We know that eventually someone will work out a "remote" that allows us to think to control and we'll dispense with keyboards and control units.

I would imagine such a device will allow us to write in whatever cursive we need. I will use German script of the early 1800s ~ even people of that time were unable to read it well.

159 posted on 07/07/2011 4:49:33 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: discostu
Those who do have trouble with their own legible handwriting were taught to **print** before learning cursive. Unfortunately, the strokes they were taught to use for printing are **opposite** in many letters than those used in cursive. This is the fault of the teaching method and completely **AVOIDABLE**. Children from the very first day in school should be taught to use the exact **same** strokes ( in the same direction) in printing that they will use later in cursive. The transition to cursive is then seamlessly EASY!!!

Cursive handwriting is a simple skill that is quickly learned by children. If coupled with another school activity it doesn't need to take time from other subjects. My homeschoolers learned cursive and they were learning to read and they used it when practicing the spelling words. Writing words out manually helps in memorization.

I simply don't see this as an “either learn this skill but not that” type of situation.

Finally....When I ask people who are dead set against teaching cursive to children, I find that they never fully mastered the skill. It was a source of frustration for them in school because they were IMPROPERLY taught the wrong strokes in printing and they very understandably had a very hard time reversing the direction of the strokes in cursive.

Given the extremely **minimal** amount of time it takes to teach children cursive ( if done properly when children are first learning to print), it is worth the **minor** amount of effort. It is nice skill, and many see it as a sign of refinement and education. Now how could that hurt on the job or anywhere else in life?

By the way....Knowing a little bit of calligraphy is sometimes useful as well!

160 posted on 07/07/2011 5:15:41 PM PDT by wintertime
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To: knarf
My Sirius XM is MU7Y72WV and when I called about a problem I identified; Mama Uniform 7 Yankee 7 2 Whiskey Victor, which was repeated back to me, Michael Umbrella 7 Yes 7 2 Wonder Victor.

Since I use an older phonetic alphabet, I would say, "Mike Uncle 7 Yoke 7 2 Willie Victor."

161 posted on 07/07/2011 5:59:51 PM PDT by Fiji Hill
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To: muawiyah

I don’t think cursive was ever actually useful. The best you could ever really hope to get out of your cursive is that your cursive would be so pretty that someone would be impressed and if they were superficial enough would like you because of your pretty hand writing. It’s not faster than printing, it’s not easier than printing, for most people it’s not more legible than printing, it really has always been only useful as a simple substitute for calligraphy.

Thought control will never happen. People are too scatter brained. They’d be there thinking their dictation and then a hot chick shows up on TV then all of a sudden “holy crap are those real” winds up in their contract.


162 posted on 07/07/2011 7:31:59 PM PDT by discostu (Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn)
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To: wintertime

you have to learn print first. Print matches what you see in the real world, the first thing you’re going to learn to write has to be the first thing you’re going to learn to read.

There’s no reason to make a transition to cursive. It was always pointless, it never actually accomplished anything, it was just there to look pretty. It’s the sorority girl of communication methods. You could write something in print just as well to aid memorization, actually it would aid it more because then what you wrote actually looks like the original version of the word you’re trying to memorize.

The only reason it’s “learn this or that” is because the “that” in question is completely and utterly useless and probably should never have been taught in the first place. The only place cursive could ever belong is an art class, because the only point it has ever had was being pretty. Pretty is fine for art class, pretty is without point in the rest of school.

In the modern age of fonts calligraphy is a completely useless skill. I can pop any calligraphy you can do into a font and replicate it in Word in seconds.


163 posted on 07/07/2011 7:37:57 PM PDT by discostu (Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn)
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To: Spktyr

Forms say “please print” and the post office asks you to print addresses because those items are read by machine.


164 posted on 07/07/2011 7:39:49 PM PDT by newzjunkey
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To: wintertime

> “He feels that his professors appreciated getting exams that were more easily graded.”

Even at its most legible, though, handwriting isn’t as easily graded as printing. Also, if your assistant couldn’t write legibly, she should have printed or typed the message (signed it, and added the office phone number for confirmation).

> “After that I would always have a potential employee writing something in cursive. Poor handwriting was a reason for me not to hire them....It [legible handwriting] is an indication of refinement and education.”

Hardly. You can probably assume that the person has made it through elementary school — or far enough to cover handwriting anyway :-) — and has some manual dexterity, but not much beyond that.


165 posted on 07/07/2011 7:48:07 PM PDT by GJones2 (Handwriting as an indication of level of education)
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To: GJones2
It was on office letter head paper, that's how the boss knew the number. The patient’s boss thought her employee had stolen the letter head paper. And...Yes, she did call to confirm. After that I asked all potential employees to write something. If their handwriting wasn't pleasant looking and neatly readable, they didn't get hired.

The reason cursive has deteriorated in our population is that children learn to print now, and use printing for several years before cursive is introduced. Then they need to reverse the strokes on many letters. Of course, by then it is **impossible**! They should teach printing with the same essential strokes that will later be used in cursive. If they would do that most children could quickly and **easily** learn cursive.

I would bet, that an examination of letters sent home during WWII and WWI would show near universal mastery of cursive. In two generations the DNA in the U.S. didn't change that much that so many lack the “dexterity”. However, teaching methods have dramatically changed!

166 posted on 07/07/2011 9:00:02 PM PDT by wintertime
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To: discostu
Listen, I am sorry you were taught to print incorrectly thus making learning cursive impossible for you in 3rd or 4th grade. Because you didn't learn it doesn't mean that is it not a nice skill to have.

The reason people use ( used) cursive is for speed. There is less need to take the pen or pencil off the paper which slows the process. When children use the same strokes for printing that will later be used for cursive, the transition is seamless, very quick, and easy. Children struggle with cursive because they are taught to **print** incorrectly, thus making the transition impossible.

As for calligraphy: It is quick to learn, and useful sometimes, in certain situations, especially when I am not carrying a portable printer around in purse.

Let me think?...Is is better to have more skills that are “pretty” or less? Is ugly better than pretty? Gee! Hard to decide./s

167 posted on 07/07/2011 9:12:19 PM PDT by wintertime
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To: discostu

Using a calligraphy font in Word isn’t the same as developing the skill yourself to actually write in calligraphy with your own two hands and using it.

Technology is fine,however it is not the only apex of personal accomplishment.

Reading through your posts here on this subject,I’m wondering if you think the English language should be changed to that Lovecraftian nonsense in your tagline.


168 posted on 07/07/2011 10:26:35 PM PDT by FreeDeerHawk
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To: Sonny M

I graduated HS in 04. I don’t recall anyone using cursive in HS. Once you got to middle school, it stopped being requirement and maybe the occasional assignment that the teacher wanted in cursive. No one used cursive in college, or in real life that I know of. If it is important it eventually ends up typed, possibly based off some printed notes.

The only item I regulatory use cursive is to sign my name, and even then it is a hybrid of printing, cursive and a squiggly line.

Schools should be focused on skills needed today and in the future, proper typing and grammar.


169 posted on 07/07/2011 10:41:57 PM PDT by matt04
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To: discostu

We will certainly need a “ta ta” filter on the output.


170 posted on 07/08/2011 4:28:33 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: wintertime

You need to stop making assumptions, especially when they’re basically just thinly masked insults. The need for ad hominems shows you know your position can’t stand on its own logic.

I learned cursive fine, and used it quite extensively for the rest of my schooling. but the minute it was no longer called up by school I stopped because I also learned that it was completely useless. Most letters are more pen strokes than print so it’s slower NOT faster, most writers aren’t as clear when they’re writing it so it’s also slower to read. It has no purpose at all.

As for calligraphy it is never useful, ever, in any situations, ever. Period. Because a calligraphy set is really no easier to carry around than something you printed before you left the house.


171 posted on 07/08/2011 6:56:35 AM PDT by discostu (Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn)
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To: FreeDeerHawk

Ahh but it is the same for everything that matters, that you now have the document done in this “nice” font. If you want to do it for the sake of art fine, but understand art is art and innately NOT useful. She was claiming calligraphy is actually useful, not that it was art. It’s not useful. Period.

You obviously didn’t read my posts or you’d have seen where I pointed out that the language from the era of Lovecraft is grossly overwrought and inefficient. Actually it was Lovecraft’s dense pages largely lacking white space I specifically had in mind when I said “We no longer use an entire paragraph to say somebody ran away in fear.”


172 posted on 07/08/2011 7:00:26 AM PDT by discostu (Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn)
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To: Gabz

I have no problem with letting students use calculators, but they should first be required to master the basics.

I also use paper to calculate as often as possible just to keep my old brain sharp. Math has given me fits all of my life; my brain is geared more toward language and the visually aesthetic.


173 posted on 07/08/2011 11:06:39 AM PDT by Bigg Red (Palin in 2012)
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To: discostu

You’re 100% correct. I had a friend that was constantly pushing some 19th century high school test as some sort of proof that they were so much more educated in that century. I did rather poorly, but only because 2/3 of the test centered around agrarian units of measure that I’ve never had any reason to learn. He just didn’t get that the test didn’t actually represent a higher level of knowledge, just outdated knowledge.


174 posted on 07/08/2011 11:08:58 AM PDT by Melas (Sent via Galaxy Tab)
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To: discostu

This would not be an issue except that we have socialist-funded, compulsory, and collectivist managed government schools. If all schooling were private, handwriting would be decided privately between the directors of the private school and the parents. The best practices would win in the private market place.

Personally, I tried to get my children to use the **KEYBOARD** in a proper manner as soon as they were able. Kindergarten is not too early to start. It is very hard for children to unlearn bad typing habits and the easy way is to prevent bad habits by teaching them good typing skills from the very beginning. EARLY! Age 3 or 4 isn’t too young!

Personally, in my own homeschool I taught a method of **PRINTING** that would lead seamlessly into cursive. I tried to prevent bad habits from forming in the PRINTING stages. My 3 homeschoolers had no trouble moving into cursive. THE DO NOT USE IT EXCLUSIVELY, NOR DO I!!! Most of the time I PRINT. It is indeed more easily read. But...Being able to use cursive is a very nice skill to have and my children and I do have reason to use it occasionally.

Cursive **when properly taught** is faster than printing because the pen is rarely lifted from the surface of the paper. But...For you, I believe you when you say that cursive is useless for you and slower. Yes, I agree that illegible cursive is harder to read than printing.

I still maintain that if **printing** is properly taught, ( using the correct stroking) then moving to cursive is a seamless step, and easily learned. If I were selecting a private school, I would be pleased if they taught cursives but it would be low on my list of “must haves” in a school.

Calligraphy is more than using a “calligraphy set”. It is completely possible to use calligraphy principles with an ordinary pen or #2 pencil. I agree with you that it is completely possible to survive life with out it. I do maintain that is a nice skill and refinement for an educated person to possess, and basic calligraphy is easily and quickly mastered by people of normal intelligence and manual dexterity.

Again...Is it better to go through life with more refinement or not? Is it better to have more skills or not?

As I posted previously, my son, who will soon have a masters in accounting, thanked me for teaching him penmanship, both printing and cursive. Not everything that he does is by computer, and he feels that legible and attractive handwriting has been an asset. ( Not a critical asset or an essential asset, but one that is better to have than not.)


175 posted on 07/08/2011 12:44:06 PM PDT by wintertime
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To: discostu
I believe that the “she” you were talking about was me.

I owned and ran a health clinic. We did NOT run to the computer to make labels for every product that was used in the office. We whipped out a pen and labeled it, or dated it, on the spot.

So?....Is is nicer to have clear, neat, easily read, and **beautiful** printing on a label, ( using calligraphy principles) or not? Well...Beautiful is a nice thing to come across once in awhile, especially since beautiful didn't take one nanosecond longer than ugly. It is in this context that I use the word “useful”.

I don't carry a printer in my purse and there are situations when I need to leave someone a handwritten note. Is neat, clear, easily read printing ( using calligraphy principles) or cursive better than ugly? Well...Beautiful and clear is definitely more pleasant to read. It is in this context that I use the word “useful”.

Finally....When I come across someone who has very strong feelings against teaching penmanship to children, these people have been ( without a single exception) those who have terrible handwriting, and struggled in school but failed to learn cursive. This is NOT an ad hominem attack at you. It is my anecdotal observation.

176 posted on 07/08/2011 1:02:38 PM PDT by wintertime
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To: wintertime

The best practice winds up winning because the kids ignore it. Learning cursive in 1st grade was one of the first times I realized that what they were teaching me in school wasn’t all going to be useful. So I learned it, I did it well enough to pass, I continued to do it as necessary until I got out of school, and I haven’t written that way since because it sucks. That was my internal free market finding the best practice.

So long as you get the right letters out fairly quickly there are no bad typing habits. I had a science teacher in jr high whose self figured out 2 finger typing method had an output almost as fast as the typing instructor. Sometimes people overly obsess on method and forget the point is output. Which is part of the problem with cursive. It’s so obsessed with the “right” strokes it’s forgotten that the point is to put thought to page.

No, cursive cannot be faster than printing, it takes more pen strokes. 50 pen strokes can never be faster than 40. I didn’t say it was for me, cursive is useless PERIOD, for everybody. All it is pseudo calligraphy, it has no useful purpose. All cursive is harder to read because we don’t see it regularly. 99% of the writing we encounter in the world is printed, newspapers, books, signage in stores, billboards, TV, ALL using the same letter set as hand printed; cursive being an outlier alternate letter set thus becomes foreign and requires an additional deciphering step. Add to that the fact that everybody’s cursive is different, even if it’s neat it your cursive doesn’t look exactly like anybody else’s, and not only do reader have to do the normal extra deciphering they have to figure out your customization.

It doesn’t matter if a different method of learning printing makes cursive easier to learn, cursive is still POINTLESS and USELESS and there’s simply no reason to waste a single minute of anybody’s life teaching it to them.

Calligraphy is more than the set. But your sarcastic retort was that it was easier than carrying a portable printer in your purse. So I sarcastically retorted back that printing something with a calligraphy font on a computer before you left was even easier to carry than a calligraphy set. I learned calligraphy. I know all about it. I also know that it’s strictly for art and not actually useful.

Refinement is fine. But that doesn’t make it useful. Penmanship is nice to, but again can be done fine without ever wasting a minute of one’s life on cursive.


177 posted on 07/08/2011 1:03:29 PM PDT by discostu (Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn)
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To: wintertime

It’s a label, the point of a label is to be concise, accurate, and easily read, not to be beautiful. And it most CERTAINLY took you longer to make your labels in calligraphy than it would to just write it in nice plain text. And the advantage if you’d done it on the computer is then it would be permanent, in case you re-arrange things and need to redo all the labels, bam 1 print job.

You keep throwing up this complete silly false choice of beautiful vs ugly. There’s the important middle ground you seem to love to ignore: functional. If you leave me a note for something ALL I care is can I read it. Beautiful is often not clear and not pleasant to read, because it often involves flourishes that distract from the text. Give me the words, make them concise and then we can all move on with our lives.

I never said anything about teaching penmanship. That’s more of you making assumptions. You really like to ass-u-me. I’m against teaching CURSIVE. Good PRINTED handwriting is handy. Cursive, good or bad, is 100% useless.


178 posted on 07/08/2011 1:10:39 PM PDT by discostu (Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn)
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To: discostu
And it most CERTAINLY took you longer to make your labels in calligraphy
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

You are calling me a liar.

If you have the opportunity, if you meet someone who knows basic calligraphy, have them do a demonstration for you. It is just as quick to print something with a ordinary pencil or pen that is clear, easily read, and **attractive**, as it is to do it in ugly manner.

And....Again you are creating strawmen. I **never** stated that **everything** in my office was labeled by hand. Don't be silly! There were times ( such as expiration dates) when it was far faster to merely whip out a pen and use it! Why not do it in a beautiful manner rather than ugly?

Personally, my definition of beautiful penmanship is clear and easily readable.

179 posted on 07/08/2011 1:21:12 PM PDT by wintertime
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To: wintertime

I’m calling you mistaken. You can’t do calligraphy as fast as plain writing. Again it’s a pen stroke count thing.

BWAHAHAHAHAHHA. That’s funny. YOU, the queen of assumptions that has wrongly stated I didn’t learn cursive until 3rd grade, that I never really learned it at all, that I’m against all penmanship classes, that I have bad handwriting, YOU accusing somebody of erecting strawmen. That’s rich.

And there you go again with that beautiful or ugly junk. The fallacy of the false choice. You’re all logical fallacies all the time. And frankly that’s ugly.


180 posted on 07/08/2011 1:33:15 PM PDT by discostu (Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn)
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To: discostu

50 pen strokes
^^^^^^^^^^^^^

The whole point of cursive is that there is one stroke per word. except for dotting the “i” and “j” and crossing the “t”.

Honestly...Our ancestors were NOT stupid. In the days before typewriters and computers they figured out that cursive was faster than printing, otherwise, it would not have had universal acceptance.

When we did not have computers, and we had hand entries into our ledgers and patient records, I **DID** check the penmanship of potential employees. And...I did **NOT** hire people who could not write legibly. Believe me, there are plenty of people out there in the world who can not write clearly with either printing or cursive.


181 posted on 07/08/2011 1:34:43 PM PDT by wintertime
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To: discostu

I’ve been on Free Republic some time now, and I have noticed a pattern with these threads about teaching cursive to children.

Those who are against teaching cursive are **visceral** about it! Wow! The go ballistic.

Then there are those like me who say things such as:

**Nice but not top on my list of things I would look for in a private school.

** Nice skill to have but not essential.

** Yes, a pleasant and refined skill but completely possible to get along with out it.

** Yes, teach cursive but learning good habits on the keyboard is VERY important. Start early on that keyboard!

So?....Who’s being reasonable here? Who is being unreasonable?


182 posted on 07/08/2011 1:46:17 PM PDT by wintertime
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To: wintertime

It’s one pen CONTACT per word, not one pen stroke. There’s a difference. Cursive moves your pen around a lot, in printing a t is 2 strokes (the vertical and the horizontal) but in cursive because you have to do the up and down on the vertical it’s 3. Most strokes.

Cursive didn’t have universal acceptance. Cursive was for the elite class that had time to kill on that kind of thing. The writing in universal acceptance was printing. That’s why the printing press mimicked printing not cursive. That’s why even before the printing press anything intended for a pass audience was in print not cursive.

And there you go again assuming that being against the wasted time teaching cursive puts me against penmanship. It’s funny that the person that thinks flourishes in her writing are so important keeps adding flourishes to what she reads. Stop assuming, you’re no good at it, stick to what I write and ONLY what I write, every single time you’ve added something it’s been wrong.


183 posted on 07/08/2011 1:47:03 PM PDT by discostu (Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn)
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To: wintertime

Nobody here is going ballistic. The problem is you keep adding to what I wrote and replying to your 100% bad assumptions, and doing so with rather pathetic logical fallacies. If you could manage to reply to ONLY what was ACTUALLY written the whole thing would be a lot easier. But because you constantly add insulting denigrating assumptions based entirely on the contents of your head you force a certain type of response.


184 posted on 07/08/2011 1:50:03 PM PDT by discostu (Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn)
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To: discostu

1) As I said, previously, those who are against teaching cursive are **visceral** about it.

2) Those who favor cursive are usually very quick to say, “A nice refined skill to have, but not essential.”

3) Personally, I think a lot of the problems in moving into cursive is the way printing is taught.

4) It is has been my personal anecdotal experience in talking with people who are dead set against teaching cursive that they have terrible handwriting themselves ( printing and cursive). It was an emotionally painful experience for them in school. I will believe you and will agree that you are my first exception.


185 posted on 07/08/2011 2:01:17 PM PDT by wintertime
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To: wintertime

Oh look more assumptions. I’m not visceral about cursive, what I’m visceral about is your incessant lying about me. I don’t giver a rip about your personal anecdotal experience, and given that you’re assumptions about me have been 100% wrong across the board I’d be willing to bet your “anecdotal experience” didn’t work out the way you remembered, you probably made the same bad assumptions about them you’re making about me.


186 posted on 07/08/2011 2:12:53 PM PDT by discostu (Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn)
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To: wintertime

I don’t have strong feelings about this question, but don’t believe I missed much when I switching to printing when I was in junior high. My handwriting wasn’t terrible. It was always clear. I don’t fit into your category of “those who have terrible handwriting, and struggled in school but failed to learn cursive.”

When I reached junior high, though, I decided that my handwriting wasn’t satisfactory in an aesthetic sense. Perhaps I could have improved it by practicing, but I didn’t think doing that would be worth the time, so I switched to printing. My printing was even clearer, and had traces of elegance (though admittedly it wasn’t as impressive as a really good hand).

Later I did have a need to read cursive (old letters and census records), so the time I’d spent learning to read it wasn’t wasted. The question, though, is how much time is justified in learning cursive — for the average student. I’d say not much.


187 posted on 07/09/2011 8:43:11 AM PDT by GJones2 (Cursive versus printing)
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To: wintertime

I’d have no objection to students being exposed to it, and learning to read it (or decipher it, at least) but don’t think it’s a good idea that most students spend years trying to improve the quality of their own cursive. Acquiring a passive knowledge shouldn’t take long. That’s comparable to learning to recognize a serve, forehand, and backhand in tennis versus mastering the strokes themselves and being able to execute them effectively. Of course, individuals would be free to learn to write cursive if they wished. It just wouldn’t be an important part of the curriculum anymore. (As an elitist skill it even might have more appeal to them.)

As you yourself say — and I agree — having a legible and attractive handwriting is an asset, but “not a critical asset or an essential asset” (when there are many other things they might be learning). I favor it for those who can learn to write it without the investment of much time — or who are highly motivated to learn and willing to put in extra time — but I don’t think that others should be required to spend a lot of time on it.

[You say that your method makes it easy to learn, which would decrease the demand on their time, but that’s not something we can evaluate well here.]


188 posted on 07/09/2011 8:47:26 AM PDT by GJones2 (Cursive versus printing)
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To: discostu

I agree with you in not attaching much importance to being able to write cursive, but am skeptical about your claim that printing is faster (for most persons). After I switched to printing I became pretty fast but never felt that my printing was as fast as cursive. If you think yours is, maybe you’re just unusually skilled at printing.

> “Cursive moves your pen around a lot, in printing a t is 2 strokes (the vertical and the horizontal) but in cursive because you have to do the up and down on the vertical it’s 3.”

That statement gave pause for thought. Your claim about the average number of strokes in the two ways of writing seems to be true. So why do I feel that my printing is slower?

I think it’s because you continually have to estimate distances in printing, and put your pen down in a precise spot, and that requires more care — and probably, for most persons, less speed. By keeping your pen on the page (with a few exceptions like ‘t’), you can more easily keep track of your points of reference. Also, as a person who used to print a lot, I know that I was continually having to be careful with letters like ‘r’, ‘n’, and ‘h’ (especially in names and unusual words, in which people wouldn’t recognize them from the context). If I make a part of a line just a tad too long or short, the letter may appear to be something else. This is true to some extent with cursive too, but because you’re writing continuous strokes, there’s less difficulty in establishing points of reference, and it tends to be less of a problem.

As I said, you may be unusually skillful at estimating distances and making marks of precise lengths, so printing may be faster for you, but I suspect that it wouldn’t be for most persons (not if their printing is to be easily legible and closely resemble that of books).


189 posted on 07/09/2011 8:57:38 AM PDT by GJones2 (Cursive versus printing)
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To: newzjunkey
Over the past two years, the majority of my signatures at work have been electronic. I made a PDF of my signature and can now insert it on any PDF document with the full version of Adobe Acrobat. I think that is the direction we are moving in. Of course, the question then becomes what is the source of the electronic signature? If one never learns cursive, how will they even come up with one in the first place?

Hence, there will always be a market for people who can write cursive. What I foresee is that young people of today will go to a "handwriting service" and have a custom signature designed for them by a "cursive artist." I can see these cursive artists charging thousands of dollars to customize a signature for somebody and people will be willing to pay for it. After all, that signature will be part of their identity the rest of their lives so likely they will want something very distinctive and fancy, sort of like a "John Hancock" signature. Once the signature is designed, it will be electronically encrypted and only accessible to the person it was designed for. They will then be able to electronically affix the signature to all their documents.

It's probably been 20 years since I wrote anything in cursive other than my own name. In fact, I hardly ever even print either and as a result, my handwriting has gotten so poor that I find myself printing in block letters, otherwise, I won't even be able to read it!

Since the early 1990s, I have been writing primarily on the keyboard.

Looking back on my school years, the most important class I ever took was typing. It wasn't called keyboarding back then because personal computers didn't exist for the most part. I took typing for two years, my sophomore and junior year of high school. The first year, we were taught on the manual typewriters, the kind you had to slap the carriage across with your hand when you wanted to move down a line and if you had to erase something, you carefully applied white-out with a tiny brush and typed over it after it dried. It was so time consuming to make corrections that you just learned to be careful and not make any mistakes at all.

In year two of typing, we moved up to the IBM electric typewriters and to us, those typewriters were like something out of the Jetsons. We felt like we were on the cutting edge of technology with those things! I wanted to buy one for home badly but they were so expensive that they were out of reach for my family's budget at the time. So my parents ended up getting me a manual Royal typewriter at a flea market, this typewriter was built sometime in the 1950s and even today, you can pull it down out of the attic and start using it. That's how solid and well-built it is.

I remember getting a lot of grief from my classmates for taking typing courses. Now this was the 1970s and only women were supposed to know how to type so this was considered a sissy course for a boy to take. I was only one of two boys in the class and I was teased to no end about how I was going to grow up to be somebody's secretary and whatnot.

But I'm glad I went through it because of all the skills I learned in high school, typing ended up being the most useful. I figure my ability to type well (I can even today type around 60 words a minute) has made me hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional income in my career.

190 posted on 07/09/2011 9:08:18 AM PDT by SamAdams76
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To: newzjunkey
Over the past two years, the majority of my signatures at work have been electronic. I made a PDF of my signature and can now insert it on any PDF document with the full version of Adobe Acrobat. I think that is the direction we are moving in. Of course, the question then becomes what is the source of the electronic signature? If one never learns cursive, how will they even come up with one in the first place?

Hence, there will always be a market for people who can write cursive. What I foresee is that young people of today will go to a "handwriting service" and have a custom signature designed for them by a "cursive artist." I can see these cursive artists charging thousands of dollars to customize a signature for somebody and people will be willing to pay for it. After all, that signature will be part of their identity the rest of their lives so likely they will want something very distinctive and fancy, sort of like a "John Hancock" signature. Once the signature is designed, it will be electronically encrypted and only accessible to the person it was designed for. They will then be able to electronically affix the signature to all their documents.

It's probably been 20 years since I wrote anything in cursive other than my own name. In fact, I hardly ever even print either and as a result, my handwriting has gotten so poor that I find myself printing in block letters, otherwise, I won't even be able to read it!

Since the early 1990s, I have been writing primarily on the keyboard.

Looking back on my school years, the most important class I ever took was typing. It wasn't called keyboarding back then because personal computers didn't exist for the most part. I took typing for two years, my sophomore and junior year of high school. The first year, we were taught on the manual typewriters, the kind you had to slap the carriage across with your hand when you wanted to move down a line and if you had to erase something, you carefully applied white-out with a tiny brush and typed over it after it dried. It was so time consuming to make corrections that you just learned to be careful and not make any mistakes at all.

In year two of typing, we moved up to the IBM electric typewriters and to us, those typewriters were like something out of the Jetsons. We felt like we were on the cutting edge of technology with those things! I wanted to buy one for home badly but they were so expensive that they were out of reach for my family's budget at the time. So my parents ended up getting me a manual Royal typewriter at a flea market, this typewriter was built sometime in the 1950s and even today, you can pull it down out of the attic and start using it. That's how solid and well-built it is.

I remember getting a lot of grief from my classmates for taking typing courses. Now this was the 1970s and only women were supposed to know how to type so this was considered a sissy course for a boy to take. I was only one of two boys in the class and I was teased to no end about how I was going to grow up to be somebody's secretary and whatnot.

But I'm glad I went through it because of all the skills I learned in high school, typing ended up being the most useful. I figure my ability to type well (I can even today type around 60 words a minute) has made me hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional income in my career.

191 posted on 07/09/2011 9:08:24 AM PDT by SamAdams76
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To: newzjunkey
Over the past two years, the majority of my signatures at work have been electronic. I made a PDF of my signature and can now insert it on any PDF document with the full version of Adobe Acrobat. I think that is the direction we are moving in. Of course, the question then becomes what is the source of the electronic signature? If one never learns cursive, how will they even come up with one in the first place?

Hence, there will always be a market for people who can write cursive. What I foresee is that young people of today will go to a "handwriting service" and have a custom signature designed for them by a "cursive artist." I can see these cursive artists charging thousands of dollars to customize a signature for somebody and people will be willing to pay for it. After all, that signature will be part of their identity the rest of their lives so likely they will want something very distinctive and fancy, sort of like a "John Hancock" signature. Once the signature is designed, it will be electronically encrypted and only accessible to the person it was designed for. They will then be able to electronically affix the signature to all their documents.

It's probably been 20 years since I wrote anything in cursive other than my own name. In fact, I hardly ever even print either and as a result, my handwriting has gotten so poor that I find myself printing in block letters, otherwise, I won't even be able to read it!

Since the early 1990s, I have been writing primarily on the keyboard.

Looking back on my school years, the most important class I ever took was typing. It wasn't called keyboarding back then because personal computers didn't exist for the most part. I took typing for two years, my sophomore and junior year of high school. The first year, we were taught on the manual typewriters, the kind you had to slap the carriage across with your hand when you wanted to move down a line and if you had to erase something, you carefully applied white-out with a tiny brush and typed over it after it dried. It was so time consuming to make corrections that you just learned to be careful and not make any mistakes at all.

In year two of typing, we moved up to the IBM electric typewriters and to us, those typewriters were like something out of the Jetsons. We felt like we were on the cutting edge of technology with those things! I wanted to buy one for home badly but they were so expensive that they were out of reach for my family's budget at the time. So my parents ended up getting me a manual Royal typewriter at a flea market, this typewriter was built sometime in the 1950s and even today, you can pull it down out of the attic and start using it. That's how solid and well-built it is.

I remember getting a lot of grief from my classmates for taking typing courses. Now this was the 1970s and only women were supposed to know how to type so this was considered a sissy course for a boy to take. I was only one of two boys in the class and I was teased to no end about how I was going to grow up to be somebody's secretary and whatnot.

But I'm glad I went through it because of all the skills I learned in high school, typing ended up being the most useful. I figure my ability to type well (I can even today type around 60 words a minute) has made me hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional income in my career.

192 posted on 07/09/2011 9:08:24 AM PDT by SamAdams76
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To: SamAdams76

I learned to touch-type on my own when I was in college, but never managed to acquire much speed (just enough to be slightly faster than if I wrote by hand). Perhaps I would have done better if I’d taken a formal course.

Knowing how to type has been useful to me because most of my life I’ve worked as a writer. Ordinarily I haven’t needed to type any faster than I can think, though, so not much speed has been required. :-)


193 posted on 07/09/2011 10:29:00 AM PDT by GJones2 (Value of knowing how to type)
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To: GJones2

Since I haven’t written in cursive in 20+ years I can guarantee my printing is faster.

I think the slant makes cursive look faster, it’s got that cartoon tilt.

I’m not sure when you’re estimating distance. And for where you’re putting you’re pen down I think once you’re in habit you just do. You might pick up some speed by not picking up the pen, but there’s so many more strokes I think you lose it.

I think the r, n, h problem is much worse in cursive, worse enough that I’d include m and double l in the list. That’s the group of letters that’s hardest to read when deciphering somebody’s cursive for the first time, because people tend to turn them just into loops. And the continuous strokes makes it worse, at least in print there’s supposed to be a gap between an r and an n so the reader knows it’s not an m, in cursive they both tend to wind up as 3 lumps in a row.

I don’t do any estimating of distance. It’s all just muscle memory at this point. Maybe I estimated when I was a kid, but at this point I’ve been putting pen to paper in one way shape or form for over 35 years. Much like when I’m typing (which I learned in jr high so 25 years or so) I’m thinking about content not method. The hand knows how to write, the brain is working on other stuff.


194 posted on 07/09/2011 11:05:30 AM PDT by discostu (Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn)
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To: SamAdams76

I don’t think you need to know cursive to come up with a signature. Really since cursive was invented by not picking up the pen between printed words there’s the basis for a signature. Also given that by age 30 most people’s signature has been reduced to a series of small and large bumps, doesn’t really matter if the person ever could write it neatly.

I don’t think electronically reproduced signatures are going to be that big a deal. yeah people will use them. But they won’t put that much thought into them. If people were really concerned about the appearance of their signatures they would continue to write them carefully, not reduce them to random bumps like we all do.


195 posted on 07/09/2011 11:15:39 AM PDT by discostu (Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn)
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To: GJones2
My handwriting wasn’t terrible.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

And...I notice that you are not someone with a visceral objection to cursive, but are taking a very balanced and reasonable stand.

In our homeschool I used a method from the beginning that taught children to print using the same direction of strokes that would be used later in cursive. When we introduced cursive it was a very **simple** matter of connecting the letters. Very easy!

Also...I would encourage the children to use careful penmanship when practicing spelling words ( no lost time there), and writing in their journals ( this was before computers were common in the home.), again no lost time.

196 posted on 07/09/2011 3:58:09 PM PDT by wintertime
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To: SamAdams76

But I’m glad I went through it because of all the skills I learned in high school, typing ended up being the most useful. I figure my ability to type well (I can even today type around 60 words a minute) has made me hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional income in my career.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Once we had the computer in the home, one of the very first programs we bought was a typing program. The children were by then about 8,9, and 10. I was very serious about learning good habits with typing from the very beginning.


197 posted on 07/09/2011 4:05:22 PM PDT by wintertime
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To: discostu

> “I think the r, n, h problem is much worse in cursive...”

Well, I suppose there are different types of cursive, but in mine those letters are both easy to make and easy to distinguish.

I gave up cursive over twenty years ago too, but I’m not printing much either nowadays, so my skill in printing has decreased a good bit as well. I doubt that I was ever completely comfortable printing ‘r’, ‘n’, and ‘h’ at a fast speed, though. If I was printing something important, I probably slowed down.


198 posted on 07/09/2011 6:23:01 PM PDT by GJones2 (Cursive versus printing)
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To: DonaldC

My handwriting is a combination of printing and cursive. I only sign my signature in cursive. BTW both of my parents handwriting was a combo of both too and at times our writings look amazingly alike.


199 posted on 07/10/2011 8:03:49 AM PDT by proudofthesouth (Democratic Party - The party of genocide.)
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