Why Cursive Still Matters

Handwriting style fights forgery, bolsters motor skills, and more
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 30, 2011 12:29 PM CDT
Why Cursive in Schools Still Matters
Cursive writing is fast becoming a lost art.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Cursive handwriting may seem archaic in a time of word processors and text messages, and in schools nationwide, it’s being taught less and less. But the ability to write in cursive has hidden benefits, experts tell the New York Times. When it comes to signatures, for example, “it’s easier to forge” block letters, notes a graphologist. And signatures of those who haven’t learned cursive are often “more abstract, illegible and simplistic.”

Cursive also has physical benefits for kids, notes a pediatric occupational therapist who says it improves motor skills. “It’s the dexterity, the fluidity, the right amount of pressure to put with pen and pencil on paper.” Then there are practical issues: Those who can’t read cursive struggle to study archival materials or, say, the Constitution. One young woman tried to read her grandmother’s journal and found it "kind of cryptic." None of which may matter much to schools prepping kids for standardized tests and and trying to maximize lesson time. As one principal puts it, “Is cursive really a 21st-century skill?” (Read more handwriting stories.)

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