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Author Topic: Hand-writing: when did this happen?  (Read 25096 times)
melba_frilkins
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« on: October 15, 2012, 6:32:46 PM »

I suddenly noticed that none of my students write in cursive anymore (well, ok, 1 out of 20 use cursive, but many of those are older students). Most are doing straight out printing, not even connecting a few letters here and there. When did they quit using cursive?

Also, I used to be able to look at student hand-writing and successfully guess whether the student was a male or female. I've lost my mojo on that. Is it because printing leaves less room for gendered variations? Or am I just out of date, and can't read the cues anymore?

Lastly, how many more years before I have to start printing comments on exams because students no longer know how to read cursive?



« Last Edit: October 15, 2012, 6:33:02 PM by melba_frilkins » Logged

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chaosbydesign
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« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2012, 6:44:44 PM »

Sometimes I try to print in exams because I think it will make my writing more legible (it doesn't -- if I'm printing and trying to do it quickly, it's a horrible mess). Maybe your students are doing that?

My cursive is nice if I write slowly, which is impractical in almost every academic situation. Normally, I write with probably 80% connected letters and 20% not-connected letters (for example, I won't connect 't', 'r' or, 's' unless I'm writing completely in cursive). It's not the easiest handwriting to read, though, I have to admit.
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hstrytool
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« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2012, 6:52:54 PM »

Funny, but several months back I read an article that students are not being taught cursive handwriting since it is seen as not necessary anymore due to the computer.

Maybe that explains it?
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larryc
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« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2012, 7:02:06 PM »

Wonderboy just turned 13, He has never been taught cursive. If five years he will be in your classroom.

We historians are going to have to deal with this pretty soon. We will need to have courses on how to read cursive for our students in just a few years.

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« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2012, 7:05:37 PM »

My nephews, 10 and 12ish, have never been taught cursive.

I admit that I don't remember how to write in actual cursive either, but that's because I've developed my own highly superior hybrid print/cursive handwriting style.
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« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2012, 8:02:46 PM »

I think we talked about this before. Apparently schools aren't teaching cursive anymore. I don't understand it. Do they think people will never want or need to read cursive?  Meanwhile, yes, I noticed that guy's printing kinda looks like girl's printing. Don't know why.
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melba_frilkins
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« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2012, 8:05:03 PM »

I think we talked about this before. Apparently schools aren't teaching cursive anymore. I don't understand it. Do they think people will never want or need to read cursive?  Meanwhile, yes, I noticed that guy's printing kinda looks like girl's printing. Don't know why.

In an article about all this, they claimed that students can learn to read cursive in just 30-60 minutes. What?!

I'll buy that it might take only that long to explain cursive letters and their variations, but it's going to take much longer than that to practice and become fluent at actually reading anything in cursive.

« Last Edit: October 15, 2012, 8:05:34 PM by melba_frilkins » Logged

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onthefringe
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« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2012, 8:15:14 PM »

The fringelet (now 10 years old in the midwest) did learn cursive in third grade, but they're not required to use it. So most of her classmates print. She's well on the way to developing a print/cursive hybrid, I think.

What she learned was recognizably cursive to me, but somewhat distinct from what I learned. It has fewer curlicues on capital letters, and the capital Q, (and maybe the Capital Z and lowercase z) look very different from what I learned.
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« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2012, 8:19:46 PM »

The fringelet (now 10 years old in the midwest) did learn cursive in third grade, but they're not required to use it. So most of her classmates print. She's well on the way to developing a print/cursive hybrid, I think.

What she learned was recognizably cursive to me, but somewhat distinct from what I learned. It has fewer curlicues on capital letters, and the capital Q, (and maybe the Capital Z and lowercase z) look very different from what I learned.

Same thing for the Mouselet, 11, also in the Midwest. 
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« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2012, 8:24:25 PM »

I noticed it a couple years ago, but only after a student remarked to me while going over an essay that I have such beautiful handwriting, and he was never taught cursive so he'll never have beautiful handwriting.  I told him it's never too late, and really just a matter of practice.  I did notice his handwriting improve after that, and attempts at cursive, but since he was emulating me, it was a bit girly.

I once stumbled upon an entire forum dedicated to penmanship.  They've apparently been lamenting the loss of cursive instruction in schools for years.  Of course, I can't find it now.
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shrek
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« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2012, 8:25:01 PM »

We're in the southwest and no, no cursive. Dumb, because you can actually write faster if you use cursive, but no. One year they did do a little bit of connecting letters but that's it. And the 15 year old child CAN'T READ cursive (even more disturbing)-- at least can't read it without effort.
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daniel_von_flanagan
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« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2012, 8:31:57 PM »

I probably haven't written in cursive since the late 1970s.

I don't understand it. Do they think people will never want or need to read cursive?
That's like saying, "Schools no longer require Latin. Do they think people will never want or need to read Latin?"  Of course some people will want to read/write cursive, just like they do Latin.  However, not all skills need to be upheld by all people. - DvF
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« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2012, 9:19:36 PM »

I have 30 blue book exams on the desk in front of me, only 2 of the 30 written in cursive. Probably not coincindentally, those are also the two most difficult to read. (Their cursive is really bad)

I think cursive is outdated, and I can't say that I'm sad to see it go. The main purpose was to be able to write long letters and documents more quickly. But today such things can be done much faster on computers with word processing programs. I don't think I've gotten a handwritten letter since the 1980s.
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dr_alcott
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« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2012, 9:27:06 PM »

Of the nineteen in-class assignments I have in front of me, 5 are written in cursive. (They are among the best in the batch, by the way.)

Last year, after noticing similar numbers, I surveyed my students (anonymously) about this. Here's what I found out:

All of them say they've been taught to write in cursive (I'm in the midwest). Apparently they just didn't continue using it.

None of them said that they had trouble reading my handwriting, which is mostly cursive.

Unrelated to my student survey: my son was taught cursive in second and third grades, and he's expected to write in cursive in fourth. His third grade teacher even asked parents to write notes to our kids in cursive so that the kids would get more practice at reading cursive.
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« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2012, 10:23:20 PM »

HP is learning cursive right now in fourth grade (I believe they started at least last year).  Well, let me correct that.  HP's class is covering cursive.  HP can already write in cursive (and usually does) quite well.  But, then, she's HP.

A lot (most?) of my students write in cursive and most I can make-out.  Some, though, I wish would print.
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