America’s Fight To Save Cursive Handwriting From Extinction

Several states are trying to prevent cursive handwriting from going extinct as classrooms increasingly swap pen and paper for tablets and computers. The U.S. government removed the skill from the core curriculum in 2010 due to claims it was time consuming and wouldn’t be useful in the age of technology. Cursive handwriting is considered a fine motor skill that stimulates and challenges the brain, but with schools turning to technology instead, some teachers are complaining that students can barely hold a pencil, but can swipe and double-click on their devices with the ultimate agility. Teachers and parents alike say they are seeing young adults who don’t know how to read cursive writing or how to even sign their name. Some states, like California and New York, have passed bills requiring students ages 6 to 12 to learn cursive writing. Experts say that though technology has its benefits, children still need to be able to read cursive in the event a document is presented to them. In the wake of turning to computers and tablets, educators have found that their students’ IQ levels are shrinking. Audrey van der Meer, Professor of Neuropsychology at Norwegian University of Science and Technology says that when writing by hand, most of the brain is active. “This requires the brain to communicate between its active parts, which, in turn, puts the brain in a state that helps both children and adults learn more and remember better.” Many parents have indicated that regardless of what schools decide, they are going to make sure their children know how to write in cursive.