Cursive may not be “relevant,” but it’s important

The word cursive being dumped in a trash bin. To the side, there is a brief overview of the history of cursive and the current controversy of teaching it.
Graphic from Flickr: WilliamsProjects

I’m going to step out of my normal posts about marketing and public relations to discuss the news that cursive is no longer part of the new Core Curriculum Standards and, thus is being removed from school curriculum across the country including Hawaii and Illinois.

Yes, as many have pointed out, in some ways cursive is less relevant today and I definitely understand the limitations of our public schools to be able to teach everything that needs to be taught. However, I agree with those pointing out that, if our young can no longer read cursive, they won’t be able to read some of our founding documents, including the original version of the United States Declaration of Independence.

For me, however, it’s more about the art form of cursive. We know teaching arts in schools increases student success and cursive should be included. Cursive is also the standard for signatures. Will the new generation sign documents in manuscript? But, most importantly, one of the things I’ve learned in my career thus far is the power of a handwritten (in cursive) note.  I often encourage students to send handwritten notes and have seen a handwritten note change the tide or solidify a professional relationship. You could write these in print, but I don’t think it would leave as powerful of an impact.

As for me? Call me old-fashioned and unchanging in this instance if you will, but I’ll continue to challenge myself to write proper D’Nealian and cursive.