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#1 Aug 29 2013 at 7:11 AM Rating: Good
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Should cursive continue to be a mandated subject of learning for our school children?

The issue sort of grabbed some attention when one of the Trayvon Martin witnesses was unable to read a note written in cursive.

It's duplicative and outdated however many historical documents are written in cursive. Also we still necessitate 'signatures'. Not that you couldn't have a printed signature but cursive is more personalized.

I'd not have missed the cursive lessons. I think I'll have a #2 pencil induced callous on my pointer finger until the end of time.

What should we do with cursive?
The status quo: School kids should continue to learn to read and write cursive. :9 (27.3%)
No Cursive:9 (27.3%)
Elective Cursive:7 (21.2%)
BAN PENCILS:8 (24.2%)
Total:33
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#2 Aug 29 2013 at 7:15 AM Rating: Excellent
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My signature can't even be called cursive anymore. It's three squiggles. Seems pretty worthless, but it's not like gym is teaching anything other than to aim at the fat kid so it's fine as busy work.
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#3 Aug 29 2013 at 7:50 AM Rating: Excellent
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I have mutant hands. My thumbs curve back quite a bit at the tip, one bone is longer than it should be in the thumb, and one is slightly shorter. It doesn't look too out of the ordinary, but the end result is I have never been able to write correctly, and it was the bane of my existence growing up. Having teachers insist that you are lazy or simply very sloppy all the time on writing when you literally cannot make the letters in the shapes they require without extreme and excessive amounts of time and effort is amongst the more annoying learning experiences you can encounter as a child. They eventually realized that no, I wasn't simply doing the letters poorly to **** them off and stuck me in hand therapy, which mainly involved playing with super dense medical silly putty constantly to strengthen my hands, which did absolutely nothing about the fact that the point my fingers meet to hold a pencil is in a different spot for me than it is for everyone else. I ended up with extremely strong hands, which comes in handy when you encounter someone who decides they want to try a power crush handshake, or when breaking bricks in half by snapping them, etc. but is otherwise pretty useless in terms of handwriting. The second I was able to get ahold of a computer and a printer I switched over to doing all my work on that, and I never looked back. Remarkably, my writing scores dramatically improved at that point for some reason. I have no problem teaching kids to identify cursive letters, but it should be about the same importance and level of effort they use to teach Egyptian hieroglyphics. It's not something that most people will ever need in life, and those that do can study it at an advanced level electively later in their education.

**** cursive right in the ear. Seriously.
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#4 Aug 29 2013 at 8:06 AM Rating: Good
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I learned cursive, and I can theoretically read it, and I can still barely read historical documents written in it. And I don't know of a single reason a non-history major would have any need to be reading historical documents that haven't already been placed in a digital format.

It's antiquated, it's stupid, no one bothers to use it unless they had it drilled into them. It's a waste of time for the vast majority of students, and it doesn't add much of anything. Plus, it makes even less sense now that the letters students are most frequently engaging with are in the print format, be it on screens or printed paper.

And at the end of the day, it just adds burden where there doesn't need to be burden.

At the end of the day, if parents want their kids to know cursive, it can be very, very easily taught at home. I had atrocious handwriting as a kid, and most of the work I did to remedy that was at home, writing the alphabet over and over and over and over and over. Since that's literally how they teach cursive in the first place, I see no reason to waste school hours on it.

Also, an interesting note, cursive writing instruction generally starts too early for it anyway, since many or most of the children won't have developed the physical dexterity to handle it anyway.
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#5 Aug 29 2013 at 8:20 AM Rating: Excellent
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They need to stop lying to the students and feeding them the line "Once you get in high school you won't be allowed to print anymore, it's all cursive, so you have to learn it!". We were fed that for years in elementary school, then suddenly cursive disappears once they stop teaching it.
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#6 Aug 29 2013 at 8:25 AM Rating: Good
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Dread Lörd Kaolian wrote:
@#%^ cursive right in the ear. Seriously.
Put my vote with this. Only class in elementary to ever prevent me from making honor roll was handwriting, and only once we got into cursive.
#7 Aug 29 2013 at 8:25 AM Rating: Good
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TirithRR wrote:
They need to stop lying to the students and feeding them the line "Once you get in high school you won't be allowed to print anymore, it's all cursive, so you have to learn it!". We were fed that for years in elementary school, then suddenly cursive disappears once they stop teaching it.


Yeah. To be fair, our teachers mostly gave up by the time we realized we wouldn't need it and just started ignoring their calls for cursive. But it really doesn't matter. I was never remotely as proficient in writing in cursive as in print, and it was never faster. Just... messier. If I believed that lifting up my pen was actually somehow severely reducing my ability to write, I might care. But I do not.
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#8 Aug 29 2013 at 8:29 AM Rating: Good
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
It's antiquated, it's stupid, no one bothers to use it unless they had it drilled into them.
Can't say I've found much use for most of the math courses I've taken in school, either.

Edited, Aug 29th 2013 10:29am by lolgaxe
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#9 Aug 29 2013 at 8:51 AM Rating: Good
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lolgaxe wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
It's antiquated, it's stupid, no one bothers to use it unless they had it drilled into them.
Can't say I've found much use for most of the math courses I've taken in school, either.

The 'required' math really is usable stuff. I mean come on - you never add subtract multiply or divide anything?

Sure, multi-variable calculus and differential equations have limited use for the public at large, but those are elective classes.

I could see though, cursive being a pre-req for history or even art courses.
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#10 Aug 29 2013 at 9:06 AM Rating: Good
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Elinda wrote:
I mean come on - you never add subtract multiply or divide anything?
For one, that stuff is learned by like the second or third grade. Second, who doesn't have some sort of calculator on them nowadays?
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#11 Aug 29 2013 at 9:16 AM Rating: Good
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I've had a ton of use for everything up through algebra. Trig stuff is more of the "once in a great, great while" variety.

But I use the skills I learned in algebra all the time.

I guess that includes geometry. But I barely learned that stuff in the first place, because I had a terrible teacher. I learned all of it in trig.
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#12 Aug 29 2013 at 9:19 AM Rating: Excellent
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I only use cursive to sign my name. I haven't written in cursive since computers. IIRC in middle school things were either cursive or typed, but by high school everything was pretty much on a computer. Print always seemed either to read anyway. One of the guys in the lab writes all of his notes in cursive, reading them fairly futile, but that may have more to do with his awesome penmanship skills.

lolgaxe wrote:
Elinda wrote:
I mean come on - you never add subtract multiply or divide anything?
For one, that stuff is learned by like the second or third grade. Second, who doesn't have some sort of calculator on them nowadays?
Smiley: um


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#13 Aug 29 2013 at 9:21 AM Rating: Excellent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
I've had a ton of use for everything up through algebra. Trig stuff is more of the "once in a great, great while" variety.

But I use the skills I learned in algebra all the time.

I guess that includes geometry. But I barely learned that stuff in the first place, because I had a terrible teacher. I learned all of it in trig.

I can't say I use any trig, or geometry. A bit of calculus from time to time, but that's really basic like area-under-the-curve stuff (and once the formula is in the spreadsheet it gets done automatically for me! Smiley: grin). Really the biggest thing is statistics, lots of it.

Take trig out of high school and make people take a statistics class.


Edited, Aug 29th 2013 8:29am by someproteinguy
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#14 Aug 29 2013 at 9:27 AM Rating: Good
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The only thing I don't deal with is calculus. Everything else, I deal with regularly.

As for cursive, the only real need i see for it is for signatures. I honestly do not see printed as an option for that.
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#15 Aug 29 2013 at 9:32 AM Rating: Decent
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If anything, they should start teaching typing at an earlier age. Like... maybe 3rd or 4th grade.
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#16 Aug 29 2013 at 9:39 AM Rating: Good
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
I learned cursive, and I can theoretically read it, and I can still barely read historical documents written in it. And I don't know of a single reason a non-history major would have any need to be reading historical documents that haven't already been placed in a digital format.
My grandparents write cursive, my grandfather's cursive is so hard to read that when he writes a letter it usually takes 3 people to decipher it.

So no historical documents but it's in cursive nonetheless.
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#17 Aug 29 2013 at 9:42 AM Rating: Good
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BrownDuck wrote:
If anything, they should start teaching typing at an earlier age. Like... maybe 3rd or 4th grade.

My kids had keyboarding in Middle School. Not sure if it was part of the laptops program back then or what.

I had typing in high school...and short-hand.

Anyone else learn short-hand?
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#18 Aug 29 2013 at 9:49 AM Rating: Excellent
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Elinda wrote:
Anyone else learn short-hand?
*raises hand*

We learned a little way back when. Don't ask me to use it or anything, but I remember it being in the books along side other writing things like "What's a verb" and "how to address an envelope." It was like this is short hand, people who need to write a lot fast use it, here are some examples. Now you try it. Wasn't that fun? Okay lets learn about pronouns.
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#19 Aug 29 2013 at 9:59 AM Rating: Good
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It is antiquated and hokey. I surmise teaching children how to type would be a far more profitable use of that allocated time.

-NW
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#20 Aug 29 2013 at 10:00 AM Rating: Excellent
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Elinda wrote:
Anyone else learn short-hand?

No, but then they weren't equipping me to work in a 1940's steno pool either.
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#21 Aug 29 2013 at 11:01 AM Rating: Good
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I know of police short-hand for report taking. Still looks like the alphabet got drunk and threw up all over the place.
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#22 Aug 29 2013 at 12:13 PM Rating: Good
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Secretaries needed short-hand well past the 40's! Smiley: mad

I had one term of short-hand. It was a new fun tool to write our girly back and forth notes with.

Now the only secretaries are cabinet positions.
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#23 Aug 29 2013 at 12:26 PM Rating: Good
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Elinda wrote:
Now the only secretaries are cabinet positions.


Oh, they still exist, but now they give them fancy titles like "Administrative Assistants".
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#24 Aug 29 2013 at 12:27 PM Rating: Excellent
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I call mine a minion.
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#25 Aug 29 2013 at 2:15 PM Rating: Good
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I say yes, they should be taught cursive strictly so that they will have to write without a computer. Put the emphasis on spelling and maybe I won't feel the need to gouge my eyes out while reading half of the messages I do at work.
#26 Aug 29 2013 at 2:27 PM Rating: Good
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xantav wrote:
I say yes, they should be taught cursive strictly so that they will have to write without a computer. Put the emphasis on spelling and maybe I won't feel the need to gouge my eyes out while reading half of the messages I do at work.


You know how else they can be taught to write without a computer? Standard print.
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