What Happened to Cursive Writing?


The Common Core standards in schools do not require students to learn cursive, but as in few other states there is an effort to keep cursive alive. Typing efficiently on a computer has become a better skill to acquire over handwriting and cursive; will a pen and paper become useless? With the technological advancements moving so quickly, it seems like schools cannot keep up. Schools are still teaching 19th century tools while we need 21st century tools. People do not know how to write their own cursive signature anymore. People cannot even read cursive anymore. Will typing become our forever writing style, and does it matter? Whatever the future holds is beyond our control as students, but we will start to see less and less handwriting and cursive universally.

Going to school as a kindergartner, I was learning a new cursive letter everyday. Even though my teacher forced me to write with my right hand, rather than my comfort with my left hand, I’m now ambidextrous and I love writing. After my first week of kindergarten, I knew the first five letters of the alphabet in cursive and I wrote them well. I enjoyed learning something new and to my friends and I, it was out secret language. A month or so went by and I knew the whole alphabet; confidently writing my name on the headings of my homework. Since learning cursive in Kindergarten, I consistently write my name in cursive on the headings of all my paperwork. My name in cursive is my signature, and it feels original. If I write in print it doesn’t feel original. I enjoy writing out my thoughts and articles on pen and paper because it’s easier to get my thoughts in order, but typing online is a faster process. This is why internationally typing is becoming the fastest trend to write out your work. I’m typing on a computer right now! My thinking and writing skills I’ve received from cursive would have changed completely if I haven’t learned it.

Luckily in my elementary school days, I used cursive from kindergarten through fifth grade in my classrooms. Once middle school started, the use of cursive faded to almost nothing in my classrooms. I had an assignment to write a TEEC paragraph in sixth grade and I chose to write it all out in cursive for a rough draft. My teacher told me i could not write in cursive for legibility reasons, so I had to rewrite the draft in print. My teacher thought it would be easier to type my paper afterwords if I wrote it in print, but for me it was easier to read my cursive. I am still very lucky I grew up in a generation with cursive. I am so happy that I can read and write in cursive almost everyday.

Sadly, teachers are beginning to stop teaching cursive in schools because handwriting will be leaving the curriculum soon entirely. Students are missing out on intricate fingering by not writing in cursive. Students are not using certain muscles in their fingers to write cursive anymore, they are using different muscles to type on a keyboard. This is not the same. Cursive handwriting will not stop all at once, but eventually it will disappear.

And what will happen to signed signatures? Already, 37% of high school students do not know how to write a correct cursive signature on important paperwork. Will cursive writing for important signature matter when you are buying a house, or signing a waiver in the future? All of these possibilities are becoming reality. Slowly, handwriting will all become electronic, just like everything else in this world. Hopefully I will fulfill my dream of teaching my children cursive. I want them to enjoy writing and drawing to express their thoughts artistically, and cursive writing is what influenced me to become an artist.