Teaching Cursive Is Making A Big Comeback In Schools

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Is cursive writing a dying art? While some school districts across the country are losing the art form, an effort is underway in some schools to keep it alive. It’s no surprise that using traditional pen to paper to take notes and complete homework have been replaced with laptops and tech devices.

Where chalkboards used to don the front wall of the classroom, they’ve now been replaced with whiteboards and other screens used to teach children. More and more technology is being used in the classroom, including smartboards, desktop computers and tablets.

Teaching cursive hasn’t been part of school curriculum for many years. Many teachers no longer teach cursive, only opting to teach if there is free time after regular subjects. But there seems to be a trend in some schools to encourage students to practice penmanship. In fact, some states have passed laws to require cursive.

Ohio lawmakers want to revive the lost art of penmanship. A proposed law, which passed the Ohio House this past June, would create a curriculum to teach cursive to students in kindergarten through fifth grade. The bill would not require cursive be taught in schools.

Alabama and Louisiana passed laws mandating cursive proficiency in public schools, the latest of 14 states that require cursive. New York City, the nation's largest public school system, encouraged the teaching of cursive to students as part of their third grade curriculum.

It's not uncommon for grade schools to have removed the teaching of cursive entirely from their curriculum. Many states stopped teaching the writing style after adopting national Common Core curriculum standards, which did not require students to learn cursive. However, some schools are trying to keep the practice alive.

A study published in 2012 that examined the writing habits of Canadian second-grade students found that students learning cursive benefited more in their work than students who only learned print, as The Christian Science Monitor reported at the time.  And past data indicates that students who write their essays in cursive have done slightly better on the SAT than those using another form of handwriting.

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