My colleague is wrong, kids in NJ don’t need cursive
I read with great interest my colleague Nicole Murray’s point of view on the death of cursive writing. I could have read it in cursive. Yes, I am not a child.
But today’s children, in ever-increasing numbers, no longer learn to write in cursive at school. New Jersey no longer has the requirement and if a local district decides on its own to teach cursive, it is often only done for one or two years and then never again.
Nicole’s point was mostly about the shame this is because kids today are growing up unable to have a signature as we know it. But does it really matter?
Let’s face it. Most people’s signatures are illegible anyway. If a scribble is enough as a signature, you can create one. There are countless legal documents requiring a signature that now use an electronic signature. If you’ve ever used Turbo Tax, you’ve probably signed up this way.
The signature is no longer the most reliable means of identification. Your phone unlocks with facial recognition. Your laptop and gun safe can be opened with your thumbprint.
As technology advances, school work is done on Chromebooks and tablets and handwritten assignments are a thing of the past.
In the adult world, it’s the same. Screens have replaced the need for cursive writing. If you can read the printed word, everything is fine.
Now, there are those who argue that without knowing how to read and write cursive, you will never be able to read our country’s founding documents. The Declaration of Independence. The Constitution.
How many people actually watch the originals even now? All these documents have been translated into printed text and are available everywhere. Have you read the Bible in Aramaic or the original Hebrew? Its good. The documents of the founding fathers translate very well.
Now, there are educators who will point out that science shows the process of cursive writing is good for neurodevelopment and can improve focus and learning. Aren’t there other fine motor skills that can accomplish the same goal?
We don’t deal with calligraphy anymore. Did life go well? Yes. We always communicate. The technology avoids cursive writing.
I think ultimately the real problem people have with the death of cursive is just letting go of the past. Hearing what you were taught in 4th grade is now so unimportant that the world no longer needs it could make you feel old. Nostalgia has a strong hold on the human heart. We will communicate very well without cursive. If you think I’m wrong, you can always complain to your local school district.
But I bet you will do it by email.
The views expressed in the above post are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.
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