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Cambridge considers typed exams as handwriting worsens

The Guardian – Mattha Busby

The increasing illegibility of students’ handwriting has prompted Cambridge University to consider ending 800 years of tradition by allowing laptops to replace pen and paper for exams. Academics say that students are losing the ability to write by hand en masse because of their reliance on laptops in lectures and elsewhere. Sarah Pearsall, a senior lecturer at Cambridge’s history faculty, said: “Fifteen or 20 years ago, students routinely wrote by hand several hours a day, but now they write virtually nothing by hand except exams.”(more)

A comeback for cursive? More states encouraging penmanship in school

The Christian Science Monitor – Gretel Kauffman

“Cursive, the art of penmanship cast aside in recent years as schools increasingly focus on keyboarding, may be getting a second act. Last year, Alabama and Louisiana became the latest of 14 states to pass laws requiring cursive proficiency in public schools. And in the fall, New York City Schools – the country’s largest school district, with 1.1 million students – encouraged teaching cursive to elementary school students. As we as a society find ourselves relying more and more on computers, cell phones, and other forms of technology to communicate and express ourselves, many educators have declared cursive an unnecessary skill. In 2010, most states adopted the Common Core curriculum standards, which don’t mention handwriting.”(more)

Keep Cursive Alive with Annual Cursive Writing Contest

Education World – Nicole Gorman

“In honor of National Handwriting Week, the American Handwriting Analysis Foundation’s Campaign for Cursive committee has announced its annual cursive writing contest for students in grades 1-6 to showcase their cursive writing skills. Submissions, which of course must be written in cursive, must answer one of the following three questions.”(more)

Arizona now requires cursive be taught in schools

WSBTV – Staff Writer

“Arizona has made some big decisions regarding state public school education standards as they relate to the federal guidelines of Common Core. It’s being called Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards. Among the headline changes are that the state will require public schools to teach students cursive. Students will have to learn print and cursive. For the latter, students will be taught cursive through fifth grade. By third grade, students must be able to read and write cursive in upper and lower case, according to KPHO.”(more)

Handwriting is dying a slow death

PRI – Adriana Gallina

“Anne Trubek, author of “The History and Uncertain Future of Handwriting,” seems to think our culture is heading in that direction. “The digital revolution is both launching us into a no-handwriting future, and also sending us backwards in time to when the spoken word ruled,” she says. But, she adds, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. “I don’t think kids should be assessed on their ability to master cursive,” Trubek says. “It’s not something that they are going to use much in their lives as they grow older. It’s not something most of us adults use in [our] lives today.” She suggests that schools offer handwriting or cursive as an elective or art class in the future. Trubek argues that content is more important than the medium of the writing itself. “Focus on how to teach kids to express their ideas, how to organize their thoughts, how to make arguments” she says. “The forming of the letters are less important. And there are certainly many ways to individualize what you write beyond the way you’ve circled the ‘I’ or crossed your ‘T.’” But many studies show students absorb information better when they write their notes than when they type them.”(more)

Once all but left for dead, is cursive handwriting making a comeback?

The Washington Post – Joe Heim

“Cursive writing was supposed to be dead by now. Schools would stop teaching it. Kids would stop learning it. Everyone would stop using it. The Common Core standards adopted by most states in recent years no longer required teaching cursive in public schools, and the widespread reaction was succinct: good riddance. But like Madonna and newspapers, cursive has displayed a gritty staying power, refusing to have its loop de loops and curlicues swept to the dustbin of handwriting history. Just last month, Louisiana passed a law requiring that all traditional public schools and public charter schools begin teaching cursive by third grade and continue through 12th grade. Arkansas legislators passed a law mandating cursive instruction last year. And 10 other states, including Virginia, California, Florida and Texas, have cursive writing requirements in their state education standards.”(more)