Lawmakers in Ohio have reignited one of the most divisive arguments of our time with a new change to their education system.
This week, the state’s Governor John Kasich signed a law to develop curriculum which will teach children from kindergarten through the fifth grade to write in cursive.
The proposed curriculum includes a requirement that children write in cursive by the end of fifth grade.
While past generations grew up writing in cursive from a young age, it’s becoming a lost art for today’s children.
The Common Core curriculum adopted by 42 states since 2010 left cursive writing out of its requirements. Now, only 14 states have made learning cursive mandatory in public school, leaving the debate for local school boards to settle.
Education experts have argued whether cursive should stay or go just as hotly as parents and educators. While some insist cursive writing is faster than block letters, and a good life skill to have in any case, others say that skills like text messaging and internet savvy are more important for students these days.
While learning to write by hand seems to promote good motor skills, reading skills, and a strong memory in young children, these results don’t depend on learning cursive, just writing by hand.
(Full disclosure, I did learn cursive in elementary school but can't remember a time when I've had to use it since then.)
Cursive writing became widespread at a time when people were writing on paper every day, and needed what they wrote to be clearly legible even if it had been scribbled down quickly.
Now, kids are more likely to type out a quick note to or message on their phone keyboard, and only encounter cursive writing on a Christmas card from Grandma and Grandpa.
Only time will tell if parents feel cursive writing skills are still important to learn in this wired, digital age of ours.