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posted by n1 on Wednesday June 04 2014, @09:37AM   Printer-friendly
from the nothing-but-illegible-scribbles dept.

The NY Times asks does handwriting matter? The Common Core standards stop teaching handwriting after the first grade, preferring a proficiency in typing after that.

However, studies are showing that children learn faster, are able to retain more information, and generate new ideas when they first learn to write by hand. The process of thinking about how to form a letter and putting it on the page stimulates more areas of the brain. This come from the inherent messiness in free-form writing, which can be a valuable learning tool.

 
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  • (Score: 2) by quadrox on Wednesday June 04 2014, @11:19AM

    by quadrox (315) on Wednesday June 04 2014, @11:19AM (#51023)

    The whole point of cursive is to be faster than to write individual letters. And although I too prefer not to write cursive, claiming that cursive is slow is simply stupid.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 04 2014, @11:24AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 04 2014, @11:24AM (#51028)

    Even faster it is to write with meaningless squiggles, but fastest is not to write at all. Writing spoils the memory and makes the mind weak.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Kell on Wednesday June 04 2014, @12:02PM

      by Kell (292) on Wednesday June 04 2014, @12:02PM (#51050)

      Except that's not what numerous studies about hand writing and memory have shown. The mental process of transcribing ideas into motor actions helps embed the idea in the memory.

      --
      Scientists ask questions. Engineers solve problems.
  • (Score: 2) by tathra on Wednesday June 04 2014, @11:39AM

    by tathra (3367) on Wednesday June 04 2014, @11:39AM (#51037)

    just because its "meant to be" doesnt mean it is. of course, my own experience isnt everyones, but cursive is being removed from schools because its been falling out of use for decades, and its just not worth wasting everyone's time with it when only a few people still use it by the time they reach junior high.

    cursive should just be relegated to calligraphy and nothing else (and cursive will never die because once its removed from schools, it'll take off as calligraphy and become an art form)

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by physicsmajor on Wednesday June 04 2014, @02:59PM

      by physicsmajor (1471) on Wednesday June 04 2014, @02:59PM (#51117)

      I used to agree with your sentiment. The problem, I think, is that people learn them as two separate languages instead of realizing that cursive is the logical endpoint if you start with plain hand writing, and try to be as fast as possible without raising the pen from the page.

      I disliked cursive because I thought I knew handwriting better, and was faster at it. Then all through college, I took notes using plain handwriting. Guess what? By the end, I was a lot faster - and what I was writing had morphed about 70% of the way toward cursive. Completely organic change, I didn't realize it until I really looked at what I was putting on the page. I'd independently re-invented cursive, sans a few of the weirder capital letters.

      So I do think it's a useful thing, but it's a continuum instead of two separate languages. Teaching it as two separate things is a really crappy way to go about it. Also when teachers grade on how 'pretty' cursive letters are, that doesn't help. Cursive can be flowing and pretty, sure, but it's designed to be fast. That method of teaching makes it slow, which means students (completely rationally) won't see the point and won't use it.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 04 2014, @04:02PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 04 2014, @04:02PM (#51164)

        Cursive is what separates men from women, TTYs and other dumb devices.

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by Buck Feta on Wednesday June 04 2014, @12:22PM

    by Buck Feta (958) on Wednesday June 04 2014, @12:22PM (#51054) Journal
    > claiming that cursive is slow is simply stupid

    Of course it's slower, there's so much more to write:

    Non-cursive: The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.

    Cursive: The quick-as-fuck asshole fox jumped his ass over the son-of-a-bitch lazy-ass dog.
    --
    - fractious political commentary goes here -
  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Nerdanel on Wednesday June 04 2014, @12:58PM

    by Nerdanel (3363) on Wednesday June 04 2014, @12:58PM (#51067) Journal

    Cursive was invented for writing with ink, the sort that comes in a bottle and to which a pen is dipped. You don't get so many ink blots when you keep the pen on the paper. This also makes writing with ink faster, as you don't have to be so constantly careful.

    The situation is completely different with pencils and ballpoint pens. Inkblots aren't a problem. You don't have to be careful about lifting a pen; you just do it. The hand movement required to draw a letter is what matters. Flowery shapes are counterproductive for that. You can even move a pencil faster through the air than over the paper, as there is less friction and less fine motor control required. Raising and then lowering a pencil a few millimeters does take a little bit of time, but you don't need all that much distance on the paper to make up for that. You also make your pens last longer.

    • (Score: 1) by CoolHand on Wednesday June 04 2014, @01:46PM

      by CoolHand (438) on Wednesday June 04 2014, @01:46PM (#51079) Journal

      +1 insightful... :)

      I never looked at it from that historical perspective. I've never even heard of that reason, as I'd always heard the reason for cursive's invention being born from the "need for speed." I will have to google your perspective, to see if the all knowing interwebz agrees with this historical tidbit.

      --
      Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job-Douglas Adams
      • (Score: 3, Informative) by CoolHand on Wednesday June 04 2014, @02:12PM

        by CoolHand (438) on Wednesday June 04 2014, @02:12PM (#51091) Journal

        While doing my research, I came across the following article (and a lot of comments) that has taught me a few great points both for and against teaching cursive..

        https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/ball/cursive-handwriting-philip-ball/ [prospectmagazine.co.uk]

        Personally, I think it should no longer be mandatory. Possibly, it could be a strongly suggested class once students can pick electives. Or possibly, it could be allowed to fulfill an art requirement.

        --
        Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job-Douglas Adams
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 05 2014, @04:13AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 05 2014, @04:13AM (#51480)

          Yes, that article makes very good points, if by "good points" you mean a giant blank white rectangle about 5000 by 500000 pixels.

    • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Wednesday June 04 2014, @02:20PM

      by kaszz (4211) on Wednesday June 04 2014, @02:20PM (#51095) Journal

      Interesting perspective!

      "Hey teacher, we have pencils and ballpoint pens these days if you missed it.. doh!"

      Pencils - discovered 1565, in wide use since 1790
      Ballpoint - Launched 1888

      Will it take more than 224 years to update curriculum? ;-)

      What feature will these calculators sized as big as a house using copious amount of staff and electricity have? ha! All students must learn to be the fastest slide ruler [wikipedia.org] calculator they can or they won't have any career .. You must also learn to respect the all important bean counters, they rule everything. Or do you expect to bring that calculator house with you in your pocket and ask others for help from it? ;)

    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Thursday June 05 2014, @12:32AM

      by frojack (1554) on Thursday June 05 2014, @12:32AM (#51412) Journal

      Plus 1.

      When choosing a pen, I favor those brands that have the LEAST rolling resistance. (PaperMate InkJoy is one of my current favorite el-cheapo (don't care if I lose it) pens. I could care less how long they last. There's 7 more in the box just like the last one.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
  • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Wednesday June 04 2014, @05:40PM

    by Grishnakh (2831) on Wednesday June 04 2014, @05:40PM (#51252)

    That may be the intent, but it's not what really happens in practice.

    There's two ways to write cursive: legibly, or illegibly. Legible cursive is very slow to write, slower than regular print. Fast cursive is illegible by anyone who isn't the writer (and maybe even him/her). My mom wrote in cursive, and frequently couldn't read her own writing.

    • (Score: 2) by urza9814 on Thursday June 05 2014, @11:25PM

      by urza9814 (3954) on Thursday June 05 2014, @11:25PM (#51964) Journal

      Hah! Reminds me of a few of my college classes, where I'd get so lazy with my writing that a cursive lower-case F for example -- or hell, sometimes even *entire words* -- would just turn into a single vertical line. They'd end up as TALL lines though, expanding from my normal 1 line in the notebook to a full three or four. Of course, I never once actually read my notes after the fact in any class except math, so that was perfectly fine. The act of taking notes kept me paying attention...which ironically meant I only ever needed to look something up if I hadn't been taking notes.

      But man, I could write those lines *fast* ;)

      On a more serious note, I feel like cursive -- even neatly -- lets my hand be a lot more relaxed while I'm writing. If I'm printing, all five fingers are exerting pressure somewhere. Even my pinkey is pressed tightly against my index finger, which is pressed tightly against the pen. If I'm writing cursive, my pinkey and index finger often don't even touch the pen. But I'm pretty certain that's just me.