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Goodbye, Cursive?

Discussion in 'The OT' started by Nick, Oct 8, 2012.

Should cursive writing continue to be taught in schools?

  1. Yes

    3 vote(s)
    3.2%
  2. No

    54 vote(s)
    56.8%
  3. Not sure

    38 vote(s)
    40.0%
  1. Oct 9, 2012 #61 of 121
    Drucifer

    Drucifer Well-Known Member

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    Ah, the good old days -- not so good, not so old either. Parochial school here with nun with rulers. I think I print now just to spite 'em.
     
  2. Oct 9, 2012 #62 of 121
    Drucifer

    Drucifer Well-Known Member

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    I worked for BFC the first five years in the work force and signed hundred of bill collection letters. By the end of the five years my sig was an A, a -, a | for a 'd', a long -- and that was Andrew. My surname was even worst.
     
  3. Oct 9, 2012 #63 of 121
    Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Wait... what?

    I don't think you read my post completely and got the point.

    Who is arguing to start teaching latin to everyone? This is about stopping teaching cursive to everyone. Two entirely different arguments. One (latin) is currently an elective that many students can take but none have to take... while cursive is currently taught in most schools to most students in elementary school.

    IF we are talking about adding something (latin) then we would have to justify its use in daily life to explain why it should be taught to everyone... since no one is proposing that, it's a strawman.

    We are talking about removing something (cursive) that has been taught for longer than I have been alive to most elementary students. So the argument has to be that it is so unnecessary that it is a waste of time/money... which means we have to quantify how useless it is AND how much money/time it is taking from something else.

    So... is it useless? I argue no.

    Is it time consuming or expensive? I can't see how it is. Pen and paper is still way cheaper than a computer... and teaching kids how to write in a different font (cursive) shouldn't take much more time than teaching them to write at all...

    So... unless someone is arguing it costs too much and wastes too much time that could be spent on something else... I don't know what the real argument can be?

    I also pointed out how lots of people use calculators and computers and don't do much in the way of math in their own brain... so those people (certainly not me) would argue they use math as little as they do cursive writing.
     
  4. Oct 9, 2012 #64 of 121
    jdskycaster

    jdskycaster Legend

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    You have to be kidding me right? It would be nice if you would leave my entire post intact when you decide to quote me rather than pick and choose a sentence or two.

    You call it myopic, I call it taking action and driving to results. A minority can make a difference from the bottom up all while the majority sits on their thumbs hoping and praying for a miraculous top down cure. I may have kids in the public school system but I am also old enough to know that waiting for this to happen or for someone else to do it for me is wishful thinking [SPOILER ALERT] as I no longer believe in Santa Clause.

    Again, my kids along with a few hundred others stand to benefit greatly from the efforts of a few caring and hard working parents. A victory no matter how small is still a victory.

    FYI - Our teachers union here in WI was dissolved last spring. Has that changed anything? Yes, we now have some very unhappy teachers. Is that a good thing for taxpayers? Is that a good thing for students? I have no flipping idea but my guess is it may look good on some politicians resume whether it ends up working or not.

    I am a simple guy so here is a very simple question that gets to the meat of my argument and maybe you will actually answer it this time (I am not holding my breath BTW).

    What are you actually doing to make the ideas you lay out in items #1 and #2 become a reality? Voting does not count.
     
  5. Oct 9, 2012 #65 of 121
    Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    Please, let us get back on topic. It's about teaching—or not—cursive in US elementary schools.
     
  6. Oct 10, 2012 #66 of 121
    hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    One example given turned into an exit ramp on the topic. ;):D

    Teaching cursive is now gone from the curriculum in our state. Some of us still see that as a stepping stone among other diminished aspects of the overall education system though....so those are related in that regard.
     
  7. Oct 10, 2012 #67 of 121
    AntAltMike

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    I know that my high school dropped Latin 3 and Latin 4 a long time ago. Even when I was in school in the 1960s, Latin 3 and 4 were just rites of passage for dedicated, top students, but probably a waste of their time.

    FWIW, I am also aware that my high school stopped teaching economics a decade or so ago, too...
     
  8. Oct 10, 2012 #68 of 121
    Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

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    I am so far removed from secondary education (my youngest turns 42 in December) that I had no idea that so many subjects had been dropped from school curricula. I remember taking shop -- I turned a wooden bowl and proudly presented it to my mother. I also took typing in the seventh grade -- we had to commit the typewriter keys to memory because they didn't have characters printed on them. Touch typing served me well through the military and into my business career. A stroke in 2005 left me clumsily typing with just my right hand, but I still remember the pleasure of being able to type without looking at the keyboard.

    I was surprised to learn that latin has gone the way of the Roman Empire. As thread starter, I would like to broaden this thread to include discussion of once-traditional school subjects that have been dropped.

    So far in this thread, we have:

    - cursive
    - latin
    - economics
    - shop

    What else has been dropped, and equally important, what's next?
     
  9. Oct 10, 2012 #69 of 121
    sigma1914

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    Economics hasn't been dropped. Latin is useless. High schools typically require a foreign language for at least 1 year, but usually 2 years. Shop classes are still offered as elective classes in some districts.
     
  10. Oct 10, 2012 #70 of 121
    AntAltMike

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    I would guess that when my high school chose to drop economics, it was probably due to a combination of the teacher moving on and no one remaining wanting to perform the duty or to endure the likely administrative battles regarding content. I think it was replaced at my high school with some kind of personal finance course that might have been called Consumer Economics.

    Last year, I dropped in at the state university I had attended, to see what had become of a few faculty members I had known, some of whom might not have yet reached retirement age, and was surprised to see that what had once been the Department of Theater and Communications (which had, itself, replaced the Department of Speech and Drama), had been split into two separate departments. The current Department of Communications Chairman had been of the staff since 1983, so while no faculty members known to me from my enrolled years remained, we did have a lot to talk about because we did know a lot of the same people.

    When I last attended that school in 1981, there were barely enough Communications courses to even put together a core for a major, but now this professor said that Communications was a hot major and had larger enrollment than did Theater. He said that it was very much career oriented with people looking to get into all aspects of production. Has the proliferation of such coursework "trickled down" to the high school level?
     
  11. Oct 10, 2012 #71 of 121
    klang

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    I too had typing class in 7th grade. Didn't use the knowledge again until college when I took computer programming classes. Came right back to me too. One of the most useful things I learned.

    I suppose nowadays most kids do some kind of typing at home on computers. Do they still teach kids touch typing in school?
     
  12. Oct 10, 2012 #72 of 121
    4HiMarks

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    With all due respect, this is short-sighted and wrong. Studying any foreign language gives significant insight into one's own, regardless of whether it is currently spoken. And so much of our language is composed of words with Latin roots.
     
  13. Oct 10, 2012 #73 of 121
    jdskycaster

    jdskycaster Legend

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    My comments were meant to provide clarity on why I voted no and to question why a majority in this thread seem to think we should have kids spending time on something that many schools have already decided to kill off. How is this off topic?

    What get's me going is many of these same yes voters are of the opinion that our schools are generally crap. My vote is no - get rid of it and spend the additional time learning spelling, science, math, english, reading all subjects that are used as data points for how good or bad our schools are. The last time I checked proficiency in cursive is not a part of any standardized testing methodology.

    Now how we actually test, collect and report on that data is also up for scrutiny and debate but it is what it is.

    JD
     
  14. Oct 10, 2012 #74 of 121
    sigma1914

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    Learning foreign language like Spanish or Chinese is very useful, but not Latin. Languages as I suggested lead to better job opportunities; Latin doesn't unless you want to teach Latin.
     
  15. Oct 10, 2012 #75 of 121
    AntAltMike

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    ix-Nay on the iticism-cray! My former Hungarian boss, who used to claim that he spoke five languages fluently - though I sometimes had my doubts about his English - was completely enamored of the notion that all English words that sounded anything like similar Latin words were derived from them and that we were mispronouncing any that did not sound as much like their Latin roots as he thought they should. He was forever having us indentify our unlabeled inventory products.


    I may be the only person to ever have chosen to enroll in a four year Electrical Engineering program with no intention of ever becoming an engineer, just to avoid having to take a foreign language. I never had any trouble in my incipient efforts to learn Spanish, French or even Greek, but I had no interest in further learning any of those languages.

    When I came back to school a decade later, I discovered that satisfying the requirements to major in Economics only required taking two Macro theory and two Micro theory courses, stats, and a paltry total of just three electives, without them even having to be dissimilar, so I said bye-bye to engineering.


    I suspect that drafting at my old high school has been replaced with CAD. I have to wonder of what use the machine shop can be since that kind of work is done almost exclusively through automated, programmable machinery requiring no operating skill.
     
  16. Oct 10, 2012 #76 of 121
    4HiMarks

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    Still wrong. Studying Latin helps give you a better understanding of English. Or don't you think understanding English better leads to better job opportunities?

    Furthermore, the purpose of education is not just to "get a job", but to gain a greater understanding and appreciation of the world around you.
     
  17. Oct 10, 2012 #77 of 121
    sigma1914

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    Learning English is difficult enough, now you want to learn a dead language along with it? Why not learn Greek? At least there's more literary relevancy with Greek, like Homer's The Iliad.

    Also, how can my opinion be wrong when there's no right opinion? Disagree all you want, but it's not wrong...or right. Just like I disagree with your purpose of education. Who goes to college to appreciate their world? Trade schools don't focus on things like auto repair just to give people a better understanding of cars so they can flip burgers. Try getting a job without a diploma or GED...Now try one with an education.
     
  18. Oct 10, 2012 #78 of 121
    4HiMarks

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    I got news for you. I went to college to appreciate my world, where I learned Greek, and French. And a lot of other things that you would regard as Useless, like the geocentric theory of the universe, and phlogiston theory. The original version of the program had a year of Greek, a year of Latin, a year of French, and a year of German, but it turned out to be be not enough depth in any of them, so the Latin and German were dropped.

    You don't think there is any "literary relevance" to Latin? You do realize it was the scholarly language for hundreds of years, with the original sources of everything from Cicero to Newton written in it. And the Iliad won't help you get a job any more than Latin will, so why isn't that useless as well?
     
  19. Oct 10, 2012 #79 of 121
    sigma1914

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    Why are you making this personal? Is this a contest on who took more useless college classes? If so, then I might win; I took some really useless ones. :lol:

    I highlighted the keyword. There's many things from the past that served a purpose and are now useless. As for my Greek reference, it's just as useless. Like Latin, it had it's place.
     
  20. Oct 10, 2012 #80 of 121
    Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Ignoring for a moment that judging the writing skills of a person often goes hand-in-hand with that person's reading skills... I'll go in another direction on this.

    Reading for comprehension is necessary, but reading for entertainment is not. Most kids are able to read before they get out of elementary school and a lot of them read before entering school in the first place.

    From my recollection of school... reading was required to participate in most subjects besides P.E., art, and sometimes music... so your reading skills will be tested and enhanced every day.

    Thus, I can make a great case that what passes for "reading" in higher education... is just kids being asked to read a "classic" book and take it apart... Some colleges give classes on diagramming episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer no less... which isn't reading, but still gets to my larger point... that kids reviewing books in school is arguably less necessary than other things in that rarely are you required in life to read a fictional novel and critique it for your boss... unless you are employed as a book reviewer.

    So... there's a class that you seem to support that is arguably far less useful than cursive writing would be.

    Science... I like it... it interests me... but most of my life would play out just the same if I had ZERO understanding of science... as long as I know what buttons to push, I don't really need to know how they work... so except for people who become scientists and engineers for a living... you could make a case that science is a wasted class for most people.

    Note, I will NOT make that case... but put simply... I actually do more handwriting in cursive on a daily basis than I spend time on scientific theory as a job requirement.

    Unless you are taking one that includes an essay portion... and you can't do those on a computer during a standardized test...
     

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