Friday, 6 March 2009

Cursive Writing - Outraged?

A little more than a year ago, I published a post Touch Typing - Cursive Writing - Why? that asked why they would spend so much time teaching my kids cursive writing and not teaching them touch typing. The comment that I just received on this post was great and I couldn't let it be buried ...
I am as perplexed as you why many schools do not see the need for students to learn how to touch-type. In my daughter's school, they spent time learning cursive and then were not required to use it except for limited projects. Are they expected to type their reports, though? YES...without learning how to type beforehand.

I am a business teacher who has taught keyboarding in Grades 9-12 for many years and who taught keyboarding in Grades 3 & 4 for two years. Our school did not want to have to hire an extra teacher, so when a high school business teacher resigned, I was moved back to the high school and the keyboarding program was dissolved.

My daughter is now in fifth grade in the same school district as I teach. It drives me crazy that the administration does not value proper keyboarding skills. In fact, our superintendent deleted keyboarding in Grades 9-12 WITHOUT placing it anywhere else in the district. He believes students do not need to spend a class period learning to "doink" on the keyboard.

We teach students how to properly hold a golf club, football, tennis racquet and such...however, we do not teach them a skill that they use everyday of their life. It amazes me that more people are not outraged by this. However, many believe that people can learn to type their own way and that is sufficient.
Within two years, none of my older kids are still using cursive writing. And now my youngest is about to go through learning cursive writing.

I believe we have pretty good schools here, and I really like some of the things they do (writing starts immediately in elementary school). But this does make me wonder:
  • Should I be outraged?
  • And if I was outraged, is there actually anything that can be done if you believe things in schools should be changed?

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