Most people remember learning how to write in cursive back in elementary school. But now, children in Indiana’s school systems will no longer be required to learn to write in cursive, as Indiana’s Department of Education will make it optional for schools to teach this style of handwriting.
Instead, the department is focusing on students’ keyboard use. Indiana will enforce more typing programs because it makes more sense in our day and age, as computers become a larger part of our professional lives.
State officials sent school leaders a memo April 25 telling them that instead of cursive writing, students will be expected to become proficient in keyboard use.
The memo says schools may continue to teach cursive as a local standard, or they may decide to stop teaching cursive altogether. One might ask how will each district be effected by budget considerations in the future when considering whether to continue teaching cursive writing.
The state is moving from Indiana Academic Standards, which includes cursive writing in third grade, to national Common Core standards, which do not include cursive writing at all.
Most states have adopted the Common Core standards, which aim to create consistent national benchmarks for all students, regardless of their home state. To see if your state is one that has adopted the Common Core standards, click here.
The problems arising from students not being taught to write cursive should be considered. For instance, How will Indiana’s students know how to sign their name? When you’re born, someone signs your birth certificate. When you’re married, you have to sign your marriage license. When you die, someone’s going to sign your death certificate. All these things are important aspects of your life.
A more immediate problem for students is the fact that the SAT test and Advanced Placement exams call for handwritten essays.
Additionally, Karen Goeller, deputy superintendent of the Vigo County School Corp says, the SAT test and Advanced Placement exams call for handwritten essays. “Speed and legibility are keys to success.”
Also, research has shown that handwriting does make a difference in the perception of a student’s knowledge and ideas. Legible handwriting may improve a student test score, while messy handwriting may detract from the writer’s ideas, she said.
She noted that some employers consider cursive handwriting as important in day-to-day work.
Learning to use a keyboard is important in 21st Century education, but until you find a way to sign your name on a form with it, you might also need to know how to write.