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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #142)

Sat Jun 29, 2013, 04:46 PM

144. That's one group, and maybe there is a point...but I've tested many children for readiness,

language, etc. I disagree that cursive is necessary for development. Handwriting didn't exist for most of human history, and even then there are many versions. Foundational learning and all the neurological developments could be just as easily learned other ways that use hand movements. There's growing evidence that tablets (like IPads) are beneficial in many ways for young development. The assumption that handwriting would have to be replaced by keyboarding is premature. Likely keyboarding plus dictation plus a number of input methods will replace handwriting (like smart boards with all sorts of swiping movements). Maybe different than handwriting, but not bad. Like an advanced Montessori exercise.

The connection to bullying and similar things are a complete stretch of the imagination. When testing kids that are multicultural (including countries that teach handwriting and those that don't), I don't see any particular system making a developmental difference as long as they are using their minds and hands in educationally appropriate ways. Using keyboards and handwriting are only a small part of learning language.

You might just as easily argue that all children would benefit from music/art lessons every day of elementary schools (and there is good evidence it would make similar developmental improvements). Certainly for critical and creative thinking cursive is at best irrelevant. Literacy and language are important, but the connection to cursive handwriting per se is very tenuous. That's one reason that cursive may not be the best use of limited time in school. Writing is impacted by technology; just like quills were replaced by pencils that were replaced by pens that were replaced by typewriters, etc. You can expect tomorrow's writing to be multi-media and not just black on white paper. New skills will be necessary to "write' in such an environment. Cursive won't likely be one of those skills! Practicing "handwriting" vs. "other eye-hand" skills to learn literacy seems to be the question, and the world seems to be moving rapidly away from paper and pencil.

Maybe you want to compare cursive to Chinese (a completely different system)? Are all the educated Chinese developmentally and neurologically depressed? Mandarin symbols are certainly not cursive. Is that handwriting or drawing?

The schools in Miami are bilingual/trilingual. Most kids speak in Spanish/Creole or whatever their original language is while they learn English as a "second" language that they use in class. Our witness in the Zimmerman trial is likely low SES and clearly struggled to decode the "English" that was used in the courtroom and deposition. I understood her well, and she was repeating over and over phrases that the lawyers (and likely jury) didn't follow.

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LineLineLineLineLineLineLineLineNew Reply That's one group, and maybe there is a point...but I've tested many children for readiness,
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