Now we may be in a period of backlash to the backlash; that is, it appears as if cursive may be making something of a comeback. According to this Today story:
In February, Arkansas lawmakers made cursive writing instruction mandatory in the state’s public elementary schools, beginning in the 2015-2016 school year.Tennessee passed a similar bill last summer. The Florida Department of Education approved updates to Common Core last year, adding cursive writing as part of fourth- and fifth-grade standards.Other states bringing cursive back to the curriculum include California, Georgia, Kansas and North Carolina. In Ohio, one school district is getting creative by teaching cursive as part of art classes.
Whether it is a good idea for students to go through school without learning cursive is open for question. Mic.com reports on a study in the journal Academic Therapy, which concludes that “first-graders who learned to write in cursive received higher scores in reading words and in spelling than a comparable group who learned to write in [print].” The story says:
In the abstract, researcher George Early speculated that, “One possible explanation is the continuity of movement in cursive, whereas in [print] writing, attention is given to single letters. The continuous line in writing a word provides kinesthetic feedback about the shape of the words as a whole, which is absent in manuscript writing.”In addition, cursive writing has been shown to improve left-right brain synergy and even promote the brain’s language and memory functions. On a practical level, it’s faster, allowing cursive writers — whose pens never leave the paper — to breeze through words with greater velocity. That additional fluidity was how experts cited by the New York Times partly explained better performances by students who wrote their SAT essay in cursive rather than those who produced them in print.