Handwriting Update

It's been a while since we've visited the fronts in the cursive wars. Here in the United States the trend away from cursive is moving fitfully forward with occasional counterattacks from traditionalists and their talk of Armageddon. It's harder here because despite Common Core, the states hate being told what to do by the Federal Government and resisting on cursive is a cheap way of proving they won't be pushed around.

Meanwhile, in Finland things are moving apace. Starting in 2016, Finnish students will no longer have to learn cursive or calligraphy but will, instead, be taught typing skills. There's the usual pushback from the cursive partisans with predictions of declining motor skills and the like but the country as a whole seems to be on board with replacing cursive with a more relevant skill.

That's good news from my point of view but, of course, not everyone agrees. I continue to believe that resisting the demise of cursive makes as much sense as King Canute's trying to hold back the tide and that it is merely a matter of time until it dies a deserved death. The events in Finland are another step in that direction.

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  • Not sure I agree on this one after I've seen our sysadmin being unable to write a few simple letters on a flipchart with a pen. I think there's a lot that can be purged from the school curriculum in favor of modern research techniques and the like, but I wouldn't put this skill on top of the purge list.