Should Schools Teach Cursive?

Dean MacAdam (cursive illustration); debate photos courtesy of families

When your parents were growing up, learning to write in cursive was almost as common as learning to read or add. Though many schools stopped teaching cursive over the years, it’s making a comeback in some states. Starting this school year in Texas, second-graders are being taught the flowing form of handwriting, also known as script. By the time they reach fifth grade, students will be expected to have mastered writing in cursive.

Many people say reading and writing in cursive are important skills. They point out that kids who don’t learn cursive won’t be able to read historical documents like the U.S. Constitution or sign their names.

But others argue that teachers shouldn’t spend valuable class time on cursive, since students will hardly use it when they grow up. Instead, they say, teachers should focus on core subjects like math and science and teach students to type on a keyboard or to code.

Here’s what two of our readers think.

Cursive writing may look old-fashioned, but it’s important for students to learn it. If you didn’t know how to write in script, how would you sign your name to a check or a birthday card? If your parents write in cursive, as mine do, you should be able to read their notes!

Writing in cursive is also faster than printing. Instead of lifting and lowering your pencil, you use continuous loops to connect the letters. That makes it easier to quickly take notes in class.

I don’t know how to write in cursive, and it’s not a problem. I print, which is the more common way to write. Plus, all of my friends and I type on computers or tablets most of the time anyway. Learning cursive takes a lot of time and practice. Why waste class time on an outdated form of writing?

Kids who want to learn cursive should do it on their own time, as my sister did. There are websites and camps that teach writing in script.

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