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Comments about ‘State School Board gives preliminary approval to keeping cursive in schools’

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Published: Friday, April 5 2013 4:50 p.m. MDT

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tabuno
Clearfield, UT

Anybody learning Japanese or Chinese?

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

Why?

Carolyn Sharette
Sandy, UT

I am grateful that Utah education leaders determined cursive is still valuable to our students. Our schools are part of an informal national movement that teaches "cursive first - cursive only" meaning our students begin cursive instruction in kindergarten and continue with it all through the elementary grades.

There is much research that shows it is a great advantage to children to write in cursive from a young age - it develops their neural pathways in ways that enhance their reading ability. Occupational therapists use "looping" as a treatment for students who have neurological challenges. And young students LOVE writing in cursive!

Our students are so proficient in handwriting by the end of first grade (having practiced for 2 years) that they are able to express their thoughts fluently, in legible writing, beginning in 2nd grade. Since there is no interruption by teaching them a "new" handwriting language in 3rd grade (as is often the practice in schools when students begin cursive), they are extremely good writers all through elementary school.

We are glad to see that students are not going to be denied an important academic skill in Utah.

Carolyn Sharette - American Preparatory Schools

KateGladstone
ALBANY, NY

Is cursive an end in itself, apart from handwriting?

Research shows: the fastest, clearest writers join some letters, not all; making the easiest joins, skipping the rest, using print-like shapes for letters whose cursive and printed shapes disagree.
(Citations on request.)

Reading cursive still matters; it takes just 30-60 minutes to learn, and can be taught to 5- or 6-year-olds. Needing to read cursive is therefore no mandate for writing it.

Further: cursive signatures have no special validity over other signatures. (Do not take my word: ask any attorney.)

Of course, some claim that cursive has magic powers not shared by other handwriting. They seldom cite research: when they do, it turns out to be misquoted or misrepresented.

Read the actual studies: the mental benefits ascribed to cursive are in _all_ styles of handwriting. They are not limited to cursive. (I invite misquoters and their disciples to ponder why they misquote, and why it i;s uncritically accepted. Neither law, nor fact, supports the idolatry of cursive.)

Kate Gladstone -
Handwriting Repair/Handwriting That Works
and World Handwriting Contest

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