You are on page 1of 5

Christina Bennett

Mrs. Cramer

College Composition I Pd. I

6 November 2017

Once Upon a Time, School Systems Taught Cursive: What Changed?

Throughout the years, cursive has slowly become more inconvenient with the

advancement of technology. Negatively effecting students in areas such as grammar, spelling,

and handwriting. In the past, cursive was used as the main source of communication, and people

took great pride in having beautiful handwriting. Despite that, the attitude of society today, isn't

about how neat students handwriting is; it's about how fast people can type. Causing an increase

in computer dependence, since the computer fixes spelling and grammar mistakes. In view of

that fact, cursive writing should be reimplemented into school curriculums because it aids brain

development, connects students to their history, and helps on standardized tests.

The impact cursive has on the brain is unbelievable. This may sound as if teachers would

be setting children up for failure, if they started teaching cursive as early as pre-school, but it's

the complete opposite. Teaching pre-school children cursive gives them an advantage in learning

how to read, since knowing how to write the letter helps them to identify it. That’s why schools

should start teaching cursive in pre-school, because that is the period when the brain growth is

extreme. Attributed to having the skills for reading and writing located in the same part of the

brain, think of the hand as "indispensable for helping children develop a brain that reads with

proficiency" (Gentry). This proficiency of handwriting to memory is because, while children are

writing notes or letters, students are encoding the information in their brain to recall it later,

helping students to retain information faster (Gentry). However, brain growth and development
Bennett 2

aren't the only upsides to writing in cursive. Cursive also gives students the ability to let the ideas

and creative thoughts to flow out in one smooth motion, compared to when students type on the

computer, which destroys the focus of the student because they’re constantly going back to fix

any mistakes made. This resulting in the ideas getting broken up, and lost. One of the opinions

given states that cursive in schools would take more time away from "important" topics such as

reading and writing (Pettyjohn). However, as stated earlier, learning to read is more difficult

without learning to write. This is due to the reinforcement of information within the brain.

Another student also said that "people are writing by hand much less than they used to"

(Pettyjohn). Hitting the nail right on the head, because students are relying on computers to

correct them, pushing fundamental skills out the window. Computers permit students to no

longer have to have legible handwriting, know how to spell, or understand grammar, much like

calculators make it so students do not have to know simple math, and rely on calculators. In

summary, cursive writing plays a key role in the development of the brain.

In the same way, cursive helps the brain to develop quicker, teaching students cursive

would also help them to read and understand historical documents. Most students who can't write

in cursive also cannot read cursive, which makes it difficult to understand history. This is

detaching students from their historical roots, because they cannot comprehend the value of the

documents. Even when these historical documents are rewritten in print or typed, students still

cannot affiliate with the documents. In the sense that, the documents don't seem significant

because the documents look like the school work they're given. In view of this, young adults do

not appreciate the time and effort someone put into making these documents beautiful. These

historical documents are not just words, but pieces of art, and mark the progress of how far the

country has come. Taking a look at the world today, the government would type these
Bennett 3

documents, eliminating awe, because Times New Roman isn't a skill. Thankfully, having

historical documents be hand scripted also helps to keep them authentic, by imposing difficulties

for people to copy the hand writing perfectly. Handwriting is seen as a branch off of someone's

personality, and those are abilities people cannot copy. Script handwriting maintains the rarity

and breath-taking beauty of these documents. That's why numerous people travel from all over

the country to see the original versions of these documents. All in all, script handwriting is a part

of the nation's history, and without the instruction of cursive students cannot connect or

understand original documents.

Although technology is advancing, it hasn't advanced far enough to put standardized tests

on computers. Some of these tests are SAT's, ACT's, and AP tests. These are kept off of

computers because there still isn’t a way to guarantee students cannot cheat using the internet. Of

course, there is no way to guarantee no cheating, even using paper and pencil tests. However,

using paper and pencil tests makes it more difficult for students to cheat. So, in the case of

standardized tests, students are timed to see how fast they can organize their ideas and write

them down. Therefore, having neat and quick handwriting can be a challenge, but is an important

skill to possess. However, requiring teachers to instruct cursive throughout students' school

careers, this time restraint would not panic them. "The development of autonomic motor

movements, the study suggested, was key- when you can write in smooth, no-thought-required

manner, you can concentrate on expressing yourself, not on grinding out each individual word or

letter." (Kauffman). Cursive saves time because students only lift the pencil when starting a new

word, meaning students who write in cursive on their SAT's and other tests usually end up with a

longer essay; giving these students more opportunities to gain points. Not only does well taught

cursive allow students to feel confident while writing their response, but it also is well liked and
Bennett 4

creates a good first impression on the essay grader. In the end, having students use and read

cursive is a useful idea because this helps them on all aspects of a standardized test, such as the

open ended, reading old works of literature, and seeing the creativity within them. Given these

points, cursive handwriting can be a vital skill in standardized tests, which are the main focus of

high school curriculums.

In conclusion, cursive writing should be required in all school curriculums since cursive

assists brain development, creates an emotional connection between students and their history,

and is a practical skill on standardized tests. So, no thanks to computers, generations are slowly

becoming dangerously dependent on technology. Cursive writing plays a key role in the learning

of reading and writing. Cursive also connects the autonomic motor skills in your brain, making it

muscle memory, meaning students can write fast and well without thinking about writing each

individual letter, increasing the creativity and expression of students. Not to mention, on a

standardized tests cursive writing is impressionable, and gives pupils a leg up on the others due

to their neat and speedy handwriting. Schools need to open up and step back from common core

for long enough to see the true benefits of cursive writing.
Bennett 5

Work Cited

Gentry, J. Richard. “5 Brain-Based Reasons to Teach Handwriting in School.” Psychology
Today, Sussex Publishers, 15 Sept. 2016, www.psychologytoday.com/blog/raising-
readers-writers-and-spellers/201609/5-brain-based-reasons-teach-handwriting-in-school.
Kauffman, Gretel. "A comeback for cursive? More states encourage penmanship in school."
Christian Science Monitor, 6 Mar. 2017. Research in Context,
go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?P=MSIC&sw=w&u=pl1949&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA484299
656&it=r&asid=9a37907faa536557ac3a252f8033ee65. Accessed 24 Oct. 2017.
Pettyjohn, Peyton, and George Alecci. "Should students learn cursive writing?" Scholastic
News/Weekly Reader Edition5/6, 7 Sept. 2015, p. 7. Research in Context,
go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?P=MSIC&sw=w&u=pl1949&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA435356
523&it=r&asid=40d02f3365e7aa6e88132436c95566fb.Accessed 24 Oct. 2017.