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[News] NC schools write off cursive instruction
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SuperSleeper Offline

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Post: #1
NC schools write off cursive instruction
Not sure what I think of this... Thinking-about

NC schools write off cursive instruction

Hope Mills, N.C. — Cursive handwriting, once a standard part of the three R's in elementary school, is no longer required to be taught in North Carolina.

The death of cursive instruction is linked to the national common core standards that North Carolina and 44 other states have adopted to standardize educational goals nationwide. The state leaves the decision on whether to teach cursive up to local school systems.

"We spend a lot more time in the computer lab, so they're learning (Microsoft) Word and word-processing as opposed to cursive handwriting," Lynn Dingwell, a third-grade teacher at Ed Baldwin Elementary School in Hope Mills, said Monday.

The only cursive to be found in Dingwell's classroom was on a how-to poster, with each stroke numbered as if teaching a dance.

"I think it's a lost art," she said, adding that most of her students can write their first and last names in cursive.

Student Xenia Glasco said her grandmother is teaching her cursive.

“The way my grandma does it, it’s kind of hard to write, but I like the way she writes it," Xenia said.

Michael Smith, a communications professor at Campbell University, said there's more to cursive than elegance, and he fears that students' cognitive skills will be less developed without it.

"It's motor skills. It's cognitive skills. It's left to right. It's interactive – you make those loops (and) one loop connects to another loop," Smith said. "It leads to a higher order of thinking. One idea leads to another idea."

Still, teachers said that classroom time is at a premium to meet common core standards, which emphasize computer keyboard skills.

"Our goal for that is to have boys and girls at the end of 12th grade college- and career-ready," said Sue Moody, an instructional coach at Baldwin Elementary. "I challenge you to find me a college or career that requires cursive writing."

Fair applies from:
http://www.wral.com/nc-schools-write-off.../12035402/

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02-05-2013 08:48 PM
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DocWils Offline

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Post: #2
RE: NC schools write off cursive instruction
I challenge you to find me a college or career where you DON'T need to be able to engage in neat hand-writing. One more bit in the dumbing down of America.

Well, I guess the upside for me is that I have no children to suffer the inevitable backslide into the caveman ways. And by he time that happens, I'll be long gone, I suppose (unless I get my wish and make it another millennium or three)
02-05-2013 09:12 PM
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Shastzi Offline

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Post: #3
RE: NC schools write off cursive instruction
..and people think Floridians are stupid.... Smile
02-05-2013 10:32 PM
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PaulaO2 Offline
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Post: #4
RE: NC schools write off cursive instruction
Quote:..and people think Floridians are stupid.

It's actually being dropped in a lot of states, not just NC. The school system my niece and nephew go to in NJ, they dropped cursive several years ago. It's not a matter of being stupid, it's a matter of priorities and budget.

Quote:I challenge you to find me a college or career where you DON'T need to be able to engage in neat hand-writing. One more bit in the dumbing down of America.

Easy. I'll name four.

I'm a writer. Other than notes on what the weather will be or what the football score was, I've not written anything by hand in forever. My career prior to this was potter. The only thing I wrote there was to scratch my name on the bottom of my piece then to make price tags. Everything else was on the computer.

My brother works at a flow meter company. Other than to jot down the occasional number so he'll remember by the time he gets to his desk, I doubt he's written much more than I have.

My sis in law works in the mortgage department of a bank. Everything she does is on the computer.

Writing by hand is no longer a "have to know" skill.

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02-06-2013 02:31 AM
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DocWils Offline

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Post: #5
RE: NC schools write off cursive instruction
Doctor, Lawyer, print reporter (sorry, it is still easier to take notes by hand than with a tablet and keyboard on the fly), stage manager, actor, researcher (and I employ quite a few here and there, forbidden to use Google to get their info - it is the most useless tool in the world for serious research - they use the library and submit their neat, hand written reports to me), judge, contractor, the list goes on - to date, these all need to still be able to use hand writing, and in some cases, you are still judged by your hand writing abilities (in doctors, of course, the worse the better ;-) We take courses in it, because we want the pharmacists to SUFFER!)

Just because Jo Blogs can get along supposedly fine in a world without having to write does not mean that it is desirable - as the article noted, there is considerable brain formation in use in learning to write properly. I have a great idea! Let's no longer teach mathematics - after all we all have calculators, usually in our cell phones, that can do it all for us! How about learning how to cook? After all, you can get all your meals ready made these days - even nice fresh stuff without any chemicals. History? What use is it in the real world? Especially when the media tells us all the history we need to know, led by the self educated Glen Beck and his ilk (an advertisement against autodidacticism if ever I saw one). Art appreciation, music (obviously no longer compulsory in the US, to judge by what the pop music industry puts out), who needs it? Who cares if a whole region of human civilisation is forever denied you, and you have then only the ability to understand music that is the equivalent of ignorance personified? Or your total understanding of the finer aspects of beauty comes form Penthouse or the Internet? Let's close all those galleries, 'coz no one will come anymore anyway, except to find a quiet place to eat lunch. You know what, why not only teach the necessary stuff to turn out workers for our industries? We have an idiot head of the school commission in Kanton Zurich who argues that way. Sure, why not? Not only will we fully achieve Brave New World, but every big conglomerate will thank you for it, making sure that you have meek, undereducated workers to consume whatever they want you to consume. It is the Capitalist dream!

Just because you don't use something daily in life (so you think) doesn't mean it isn't necessary to learn it. If we have learned anything over the last 40 years, it is a classical education has a broadening effect on the mind - one of the biggest reasons we have this polarisation today is due to the dropping breadth and quality of education - people are so undereducated that they follow blindly any demagogue on the radio or tv without a second thought. Cattle for the slaughter. Oh, that of course, brings me to critical thinking, something that is trained by learning how to write, history, art appreciation and so many other areas. None of that going on anymore. As far as I'm concerned, learning Latin and Greek should still be compulsory at a certain level. You cannot possibly understand the roots of the English language, or most European languages without it - in both Law and Medicine it is still an utter necessity, and is being reinstated in many professional learning institutes. And I hear the msot appalling use of English daily in the media. Higgins was right! Why learn to spell if we have spell checkers, even? And grammar checkers? Heck, who needs to learn anything about their native language anymore? The computer will do it all for you. And so you become increasingly ignorant, you minds increasingly untrained and inflexible, and the fat cats will be as happy as pigs in slop about it. After all, if they need educated people, they can always import them from Europe and Asia, or farm all the educated jobs out to those regions... And so the US slips inexorably further down the slopes from its once greatness.
(This post was last modified: 02-06-2013 06:12 AM by DocWils.)
02-06-2013 06:08 AM
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SuperSleeper Offline

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Post: #6
RE: NC schools write off cursive instruction
Paula, perhaps this is kind of like seeing the Morse Code test go by the wayside on the Ham Radio tests.... no longer needed for many professions, but there is something that is lost perhaps.
Quote:"It's motor skills. It's cognitive skills. It's left to right. It's interactive – you make those loops (and) one loop connects to another loop," Smith said. "It leads to a higher order of thinking. One idea leads to another idea."

Not sure if learning to write in cursive would actually help that skill as stated, but it might perhaps.

I can see this possibly being an issue. For whatever reason, I do notice that many kids today I come in contact with do not seem to have the same ability to think like we did when we were kids. (the ability to see logical connections and associations between various facts - to me it seems like this modern kind of teaching style seems geared to requiring them to "simply accept the facts" as they are taught, without questioning them) It seems to discourage them from asking "why is it that way?" by steering them away from challenging the facts as they are presented in school. I've seen students in a classroom ask sincere questions of "Why is it that way?", and a teacher puts them down by saying, "We don't have time to go into that, just do your lessons". The end result is a bunch of "robotic" kids graduating who will not question "the system", even when the system needs to be questioned. The resulting effect upon future society could be quite negative, growing more to resemble George Orwell's 1984 [where questioning the "official reality" is dangerous to a citizen].

Quote:Still, teachers said that classroom time is at a premium to meet common core standards, which emphasize computer keyboard skills.

I must ask how have these mandated "common core standards" have helped our modern school students, overall? Having been in an educational field with both junior high and high school students, my personal opinion is that the common core standards have been a relative failure in producing students who are able to think for themselves. Teachers "teach to the test" rather than "teach students how to think for themselves", in other words. Prior to these mandated standards, local school boards controlled what was taught in the classrooms and teachers seemed more free to teach critical thinking skills.

I can definitely see how classroom time is at a premium, when the school's success is not judged by whether or not they produce independent-thinking students, but rather how they score on standardized tests. The teachers have no option but to spend the vast majority of classroom time coaching students on how to pass those tests, with little or no time left for teaching critical thinking skills.

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02-06-2013 08:57 AM
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Shastzi Offline

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Post: #7
RE: NC schools write off cursive instruction
Hand writing is a basic skill, even if you don't use it anymore yourself right now, you never know when the day will come when your computer blows up, your phone wont text anymore and the driver that just ran over you is speeding away...but all you have is a pencil and paper to get that tag number with!

=^.^=
02-06-2013 11:19 AM
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PaulaO2 Offline
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Post: #8
RE: NC schools write off cursive instruction
There's a difference between handwriting and cursive writing. Yes, there are lots of folks who still need to hand write but how many people still do cursive in their jobs? Cursive can be easily misunderstood due to the different ways folks make their letters. Non-cursive isn't as variable because there's really not that many short cuts.

Is writing by hand dying? No, not really. Is writing in cursive dying? Yes. Has been for a while.

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02-06-2013 03:12 PM
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DocWils Offline

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Post: #9
RE: NC schools write off cursive instruction
Sorry, but I am not a supporter of this - I deem cursive writing to be important in brain development, printing is far less so, although also important.
02-06-2013 04:44 PM
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