The great debate rages on: Should schools teach their students to write in script (a/k/a cursive)? I’m going to weigh in this week with my opinion: They should teach their students how to READ script but not how to write it.
Realistically, what need is there anymore to learn to write in script (a skill we were taught in 3rd grade back in my long-ago school days)? Better to spend that time teaching the kids touch typing, so they don’t have to hunt-and-peck while typing at their computers. That’s a much more necessary and helpful skill.
The main purpose of writing in script was that it was faster than printing, but today very little writing is done by hand in any manner.
Kids should learn to read script, however, so that they can decipher documents written in cursive in generations past. Journals and diaries kept by ancestors or by people whose lives or pursuits they may be studying in adulthood, wills written longhand by the generation that is now leaving us—all these might be written in script. It’s valuable for the kids of today to be able to deciper such writing—if not now, then in the future.
But I can think of only one use for knowing how to write in cursive, and that is developing a signature. If you sign a check by just printing your name, it would be very easy to forge. The same is true for any document, for voter registration…and the list goes on. Signatures are almost always in script, frequently an indecipherable scrawl, but some form of cursive.
Although developing a signature is the only need I can think of for kids to learn to write cursive today, I do believe, however, that they should be taught to read it.