Friday, April 5, 2013

Cursive Handwriting Tied to Higher Essay Scores

Proponents claim cursive handwriting aids intelligence
Hunter Communications recommended reading from:
Los Angeles Times

Link to article:
Students Would Do Well to Learn Cursive

But what will happen to the signature?! California is one of a handful of states resisting the national trend of doing away with teaching elementary school students cursive handwriting. And now an analysis of SAT scores has shown that students who write their essays in cursive tend to receive higher scores.  It remains to be seen whether that is a case of cursive handwriting leading to greater intelligence, a bias on the part of essay graders, or merely that students who are already smarter have cursive skills as part of their arsenal of tools.

Excerpt: "For many, cursive handwriting is a thing of the past, an archaic method taught in the days before keyboards and touch screens. But some argue that writing longhand could help in placement exams.

National core standards don't require cursive to be taught to students, but some states, including California, Alabama and Georgia, have included cursive handwriting in their state requirements in early elementary grades, something supporters say should be more widespread.

'Cursive is about connections, not the slant. It's not calligraphy. It's functional,' said Suzanne Asherson, a national presenter for Handwriting Without Tears, a handwriting program for teachers. 'Cursive is faster and more efficient than print. When a child knows the mechanics of forming letters in cursive, they can better focus on their content.'

Asherson argues that the swirled letters and connected tails are beneficial to students even beyond the third- and fourth-grade state standard and well into high school. She recently led a workshop in North Hollywood for elementary school teachers instructing them on the basics of teaching cursive."

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