It looks like we are on the cusp of seeing the end of cursive training in our school curriculum. According to a recent NYT article “Can You Read This? Its Cursive,” (4/29/11) by Katie Zezima “many school districts are spending far less time teaching it and handwriting in general.” As the product of an English boarding school, I still remember the importance of penmanship. Cursive handwriting was a key factor in the grades we received on an assignment, homework or final exams. I practiced diligently on perfecting my cursive handwriting and developing my own unique style; one that I was praised as being legible and elegant. And now, with the advent of all things digital and electronic, computer keyboards, and smartphones the need to put pen to paper is seemingly a dying art. Ms. Zezima notes in her article that many young people today can’t even read something written in cursive. To them, cursive writing is too cryptic and challenging much like cracking a code. Can you imagine coming across handwritten letters found in a box tucked away in the attic and not being able to decipher the text? The Constitution must look like hieroglyphics to the cursive-challenged generation. What would this do to the honing and developing of our fine motor skills? The art of cursive handwriting once a standard component in our schooling is, sadly, on the fast track of becoming a lost and dying art.
Jasmin S. Kuehnert
President & CEO ACEI, Inc.