So Much For Penmanship, School Replaces Cursive With Keyboarding

Filed under: In The News, Research Reveals: Big Kids

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Should handwriting be taught in school? Credit: Jupiterimages

In another knockout to the handwritten note, keyboarding lessons are replacing time spent learning cursive in the Brownsburg, Ind. school district.

Parents of third-graders in that district recently received a letter stating that lesson time previously spent on teaching cursive handwriting will now be used to teach keyboarding instead, according to a story in The Indianapolis Star.

"It is clear to us that cursive is becoming more obsolete," Donna Petraits, the district's director of communications, told The Indianapolis Star. "We are hearing equal amounts of praise and criticism on this decision, which we fully expected."

A 2007 nationwide survey by Vanderbilt University showed that cursive is still being widely taught in public and private elementary schools, according to a story earlier this year in USA Today. Researchers surveyed a random sample of about 200 teachers in grades 1-3 in all 50 states.

Of the teachers surveyed, 90 percent said that their schools required handwriting instruction. The study also revealed that half of second-grade teachers and 90 percent of third-grade teachers spent time teaching cursive.

The Brownsburg school district, located in suburban Indianapolis, will not totally eliminate penmanship from the curriculum. Third-graders will be taught to read and write their own names in cursive.

Is cursive handwriting obsolete?

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.