Many schools all over the world follow a curriculum of teaching cursive handwriting to its students. Indiana recently became the latest state to remove this part of its curriculum. It leads to the debate over whether cursive is outdated or is important in our youth learning society. Neal Learner, an associate professor of English and the director of the ‘Writing Center’ at Northeastern University was asked about his opinions in the changed scenario of learning handwriting.
When asked about the trend in public education to drop handwriting, he said that the technique and the mechanism behind one’s writing never matters. It is the content and how it represents the crucial aspects of the personality (of the person) which hold importance. He also says that individuality, self-discovery, and self-expression don’t come when somebody imposes a technique onto you. Writing can be done by hand, computer or dictation. It is a natural process that evolves without any technicalities included.
Learner learnt to type in his eighth grade and he was happy that it sped up his process of writing. Many fiction writers prefer writing out by hand because it connects their brains and thought processes with their pens, but any form of technology that controls the speed of writing is good and a better thing. As the society grows with its constant changing conventions (just like removing handwriting), it will allow and encourage people to engage in their activities through simpler means. And ‘how’ is the exact question which Learner has.
If the students are not required to learn cursive handwriting, that won’t mean that they will never learn to write and create their own signatures. It is a process and the kids will never discontinue it. He also says that one can also choose a computer font that is similar to their handwriting.