Why Cursive Should Still Be Part Of Our Educational Goals

In an age where virtually every child has either a smartphone, laptop, or tablet for personal entertainment at home or educational purposes at school, typing skills are becoming more and more of a necessity for the modern student. While typing is, admittedly, a necessary skill in today’s job market and overall society, many are beginning to wonder if the technological age is beginning to have a negative affect on learning by dropping the focus on handwriting skills. Most notably is the substantial decrease in the now generations’ ability to write in cursive.

So, why should we still be teaching cursive in our schools?

Since the new Common Core Curriculum standards were changed in 2009, 45 states no longer require cursive handwriting as part of their curriculum. While handwritten print and keyboarding are still important for brain development, many of the benefits that can be gained from learning cursive are being lost on students who no longer need to rely on extensive handwriting for educational purposes. Yet learning to write in cursive greatly contributes to a student’s ability to develop language, memory, and critical thinking skills.

Cognitive Development

Learning to write in cursive can greatly improve your brain’s cognitive development. According to Psychology Today, consistent practice and repetition when learning cursive allows the brain to develop functional specialization, or the capacity for optimal efficiency, specifically between the language, auditory, and muscle coordination centers. Stimulation of both cerebral hemispheres, then, drastically improves a student’s ability to learn by combining motor coordination with visual and tactile processing ability.

Testing

Since handwriting is known to develop the areas of the brain responsible for language, critical thinking, and working memory, it is believed to have a huge impact on student test outcomes. Learned coordination of writing and critical thought processes during testing is believed to improve due to the student’s ability to focus on their knowledge and comprehension of key concepts and critical thinking without having to stress over their ability to physically write more content.

Medical Advantages

Developing your cursive handwriting ability is also believed to help in certain medical conditions, namely dyslexia. Dyslexia is an inability of the brain to correctly interpret words, letters, and/or symbols. It is believed to be caused by a disconnection between the language and auditory centers of the brain. Developing your ability to write in cursive is thought to counteract this because it stimulates these centers and supports synapses across the cerebral hemispheres.

Artistic Value

If improved learning or health is not reason enough for continuing to teach cursive handwriting, I implore you to consider the artistic value behind it. Cursive is generally viewed simply as a tool for making the writing process faster, but it is also a writing style that is unique to each language, and not restricted only to English. It was once the standard approach of penmanship for writing official documents such as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. To stop providing students with this skill is not only a disservice to their development, but a blatant disregard for a dying art form.

 

In short, cursive handwriting helps to greatly improve your mental and physical development. It supports your brain’s ability to form new synapses across the cerebral hemispheres, and stimulates the brain’s language, memory, and critical thinking capabilities. Coupled with its efficiency and artistic value, learning to write in cursive is an excellent goal for you and your student to work towards developing. Make learning cursive a personal goal for you and your student. Working together will make the learning process easier and more enjoyable, and you can take pride knowing you are working to develop a skill not many of this generation can say they possess!