News Views: Writing on wall

An editorial on B.C.'s plans to scrap cursive writing from the school curriculum

Cursive handwriting could soon disappear from public schools.

The provincial government is considering removing that skill from the mandatory teaching curriculum, as many school districts have already done across the U.S.

It is seen as unnecessary in today’s ever-more technological world, a roadblock in the course of a teacher’s packed day.

More and more elementary students submit computer printouts of essays and assignments. Those just a few years older simply put them in online drop boxes that teachers can access.

Those in high school and college take notes on laptops and tablets.

Anyway, how many kids write letters to their grandparents anymore? They can communicate instantly on Facebook, or through Skype.

Computer and typing skills have replaced penmanship. Cursive writing is becoming obsolete.

Since 2010, 45 states have deemed teaching cursive no longer mandatory, and it is being taught less in Ontario.

It’s up to teachers if they want to make the time to teach it.

Some may argue that since many historical documents are written in cursive, future students will need to know how to read them.

Others will suggest neater hand-writing leads to better grades, in reading and math.

And more will ask how, when kids grow up, will they sign cheques? Medical forms? Autographs?

Schools still teach block print.

Yes, cursive writing is disappearing from the communication landscape. Going forward, keyboard skills will be more important, and even those may one day prove dated.

Still, we must fully consider what it is we will be losing when we stop teaching kids cursive writing.

It looks nice, but so does calligraphy.

Why teach two or three forms of writing when one will do?

The writing for cursive is on the wall.


– The News