Should we teach cursive in schools?

Brooke Saaty, Breeze Aguilar , Editor and Chiefs

Brooke Saaty:

I will outright admit that my cursive leaves a lot to be desired. I will certainly never win awards for it and my parents have often bemoaned my lack of skill at writing in cursive. So, I am not here to argue that every person in the world should be an expert at cursive writing or that cursive is the best way to write. Rather, my argument is that cursive is an important skill with which everyone should have some experience. Like me, people don’t have to be great at it. However, I do think they should at least be able to read cursive and have a basic understanding of how to write in cursive.

Cursive might not be as popular as it once was, but, even with the rise in technology, it is still an important skill. After all, a large portion of historical documents, including the United States’ own Constitution and Declaration of Independence, are written in cursive. Yes, there are some translations, but it would be a sad day in history if no one could read the original documents that founded this beautiful country. Besides, translations are often not as accurate as the original documents and can be subject to the biases as well as the mistakes of the translator. So, it is extremely important for people to be able to read cursive instead of depending on translations of historical documents that may not be as accurate as the original.

Another thing to keep in mind is that most signatures are done in cursive. With signatures having such an important place in society as being a form of identification and being used in legal proceedings, it is important for everyone to be able to write their own name in cursive.

It is also important to remember why cursive was originally invented and was so popular. The whole basis of cursive is that it decreases the amount of times that you have to pick up your pen while writing. Therefore, it is faster. While typing might have gained popularity over time for taking notes and other tasks, there are times when it is easier or makes more sense for something to be handwritten. Thus, the reasons behind cursive are still valid.

Let me just reiterate: I am not saying that I think everyone should be an expert at cursive. However, I do think that it is important for everyone to be able to read cursive and to have a basic understanding of cursive.


Breeze Aguilar:

The only time I’ve used cursive in the past year was to sign my name on various things— checks, banal paperwork, you get the picture. I use cursive twice a month on average and it’s the same two words I’ve known since third grade: Breeze Aguilar. If I haven’t had to use cursive for anything more than a signature, why should students continue to learn it? Even then, I have peers who’ve gotten away with a printed Hancock. Perhaps it’s time to let the dying art finally rest.

With technology on the rise, typing has taken priority over cursive. I type every single day– in fact, I typed this article. Typing is a skill students need for their whole lives. While we no longer have cursive tests, we are expected to type almost all assignments. Legibility of essays is no longer a problem, but short deadlines are: if students cannot type at or faster than the pace they write, they cannot be expected to finish assignments in a timely manner.

Typing follows us for the rest of our lives. We carry a keyboard in our pockets everyday in the form of phones. We go to school and work and the asdf pattern follows us everywhere. Cursive may have been important in elementary school when we were tested on it, but that time could and should be spent learning a skill we need for the rest of our lives.

Sure, most historical documents are written in cursive, and while I believe it’s important to be able to read cursive, it just isn’t necessary anymore. All historical documents written in cursive have been typed for convenience. The Constitution has been typed, printed and fits in your pocket. Additionally, history isn’t that far away— and it just keeps occurring. Much of recent history was typed: Martin Luther King Jr.’s final copy of Letter from Birmingham Jail was typed. Documents concerning the January 6 insurrection have been typed. History continues to be made— and typed.