Should we bring back cursive, or is it irrelevant in our technology-driven world?

Editor’s Note: Denver7 360 stories explore multiple sides of the topics that matter most to Coloradans, bringing in different perspectives so you can make up your own mind about the issues. To comment on this or other 360 stories, email us at [email protected] See more 360 stories here.DENVER — You may want to hold off before sending that handwritten note to your grandchild. That’s because a growing number of young people can no longer read cursive.Since the U.S. adopted Common Core standards in public schools back in 2010, the teaching of cursive has declined and even disappeared entirely in some school districts. But, is erasing cursive to the detriment of future generations?We’re doing some homework on the collapse of cursive in this 360 report, talking with a calligrapher who says there’s still benefits to knowing cursive, a professor who teaches future teachers, a tutor who says good riddance and another who says it still has some practicality.Calligrapher says good handwriting has valueLet’s begin with keeping cursive alive – in the home studio of Srujana Nimaggada, owner of Menakshee Designs.“Learning to write well is something that you’re never going to regret,” said Nimaggada, whose day job is working at Ball Aerospace as an aerospace engineer. “I know it’s unique that I also do calligraphy,” she said.For her, it’s not a cloudy issue at all; good handwriting has value.“I think there’s just a different sort of connection that you have receiving a hand-written letter,” Nimaggada said.And she argues there’s a quiet confidence projected when communicating in cursive.“If there’s a way to keep it in schools, I think they should,” she said.MSU literacy professor says testing affects teachingThat brings us to Dr. Krista Griffin, a literacy professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver. “There isn’t a lot of research supporting cursive one way or another,” Griffin said.She has 25 years of experience teaching future teachers.“There’s no one-size-fits-all anything in education,” Griffin said. “That’s what I tell those future teachers.”Griffin says in the 21st Century, with high-stakes standardized testing, cursive isn’t always worth valuable classroom time, especially given the demands put on teachers today.“If I’m a teacher and I know my job is dependent on how well my students do, cursive isn’t on the test,” she said.But, she also sees strong cognitive learning with reading and writing in cursive. “When I’m taking notes, I can’t move as quickly as when I’m keyboarding,” Griffin said. “So, I’m going to be thinking about what the professor is saying and paraphrasing, which is a higher-level cognitive skill.”Other experts agree.“There’s a myth that in the era of computers we don’t need handwriting,” said a leading national researcher. “That’s not what our research is showing. What we found was that children until about Grade 6 were writing more words, writing faster and expressing more ideas if they could use handwriting — printing or cursive.”Tutors say focus should generally be on more-practical skillsVictor Camacho questions the time commitment given to cursive.“I learned cursive when I was in 3rd grade,” Camacho …read more

Source:: The Denver channel


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