Public schools around Detroit, Mich. are teaching a “simplified” version of handwriting or are considering cutting back on handwriting instruction altogether as kids spend less time writing and more time typing, according to the Detroit Free Press.
“I think we’re all kind of looking and scratching our heads about what’s the best thing to do here,” said Susan Allan, assistant superintendent for curriculum, assessment and instruction for the Grosse Pointe district.
“I do not believe we will abandon the teaching of handwriting, but I don’t believe it will go back to the place it had in the curriculum … when we were in school,” Allan said.
What little writing students do by hand tends to be printing, rather than cursive, so the area’s schools are spending less time on the classic styles.
Even when cursive writing is taught, what students are learning today is far less flowery than the cursive learned even 10 years ago, said Kathleen Wright, national product manager for handwriting for Zaner-Bloser, an Ohio-based company that sells handwriting and language arts texts.
“We went to simplified letters primarily because making the loops was getting in the way of making a fluent cursive,” Wright said. “It slowed it down, it wasn’t quite as automatic. Kids had to think about making the letter, and your thought processes stopped, and we want to facilitate quick, fluid writing.”
This got me to thinking about my own writing habits. I spend a fair amount of with pen in hand because I take a lot of notes. And, almost exclusively, I write in a print/cursive hybrid that is mostly printing. I can’t remember the last time I actually wrote an entire anything in classic cursive style.
What about you? Is your writing mostly cursive or print?