Is it important that children of today, in 10 years be able to write a note or read the Declaration of Independence? What about reading their great-grandmother’s diary? The question is: Are these things important?
Why are we even thinking this way? Cursive handwriting is not that difficult to master. What future will this lack create? Not everyone in every situation will have a keyboard handy or what if a battery dies? Anytime one trusts a machine versus simple pen and paper, there is a likelihood of unforeseen, avoidable problems. Being able to write cursive will be necessary for many decades to come in a variety of situations.
The essay portion of the SAT has to be manually written and the College Board, who creates and administers the test, has found that those who write cursive score higher than those who print.
Brain research is acknowledging the connection between cursive writing and comprehension and retention of information. There is some “magical” thing about handwriting information that makes an imprint on the brain. Also, math has to be manually written and will for the foreseeable future.
Also, there is the matter of being able to read cursive as well as write it. Written material cannot be edited or censored once you have it in hand. A person of the 21st century can read historical documents from the founding of the United States, the birth of citizens’ rights in England or other countries, because they were written in cursive. A child can read handwritten documents from his/her family history – letters of great-grandma, diaries and other older documents that provide a glimpse into the past.
Finally, those who cannot write cursive will not have a signature, so we will return to the days of illiteracy in a large portion of the population who had to sign their acknowledgement with an “X” or an “O”.
Currently, 21 states require cursive writing to be taught in public schools. Not knowing how to write cursive will prove to be a serious limitation – especially in the event of a mass power failure when keyboards die!