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Newshour Features Cursive

cursive pbs feature story education

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26 replies to this topic

#1 Mardi13

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 04:31

Hooray for the PBS Newshour!
http://www.pbs.org/n...legant-cursive/

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#2 KateGladstone

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 05:49

Research shows that cursive does NOT help reading, language, or spelling.

See "Does cursive handwriting have an impact on the reading and spelling performance of children with dyslexic dysgraphia: A quasi-experimental study." Authors: Lorene Ann Nalpon & Noel Kok Hwee Chia — URL: http://www.researchg...erimental_study

#3 proton007

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 08:01

Research shows that cursive does NOT help reading, language, or spelling.
 

 

Ofcourse it doesn't. It's just a subset of handwriting.

 

If we confine the definition of education to simply be 'literate', to 'read, write and do arithmetic', then it doesn't matter whether Cursive exists or not.

I guess it just depends on how wide one's definition of 'education' is.


Edited by proton007, 07 May 2014 - 08:04.

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#4 Mickey

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 14:38

Research shows that cursive does NOT help reading, language, or spelling.

See "Does cursive handwriting have an impact on the reading and spelling performance of children with dyslexic dysgraphia: A quasi-experimental study." Authors: Lorene Ann Nalpon & Noel Kok Hwee Chia — URL: http://www.researchg...erimental_study

 

 

Quasi experimental study? That sounds about as scientifically rigorous as a plate of linguini. Even if the study is well done, (it looks to be) it's conclusions are only applicable to a relatively small subset of students, those with a particular learning disability.  Your citation of it to support your position is akin to declaring Pepto Bismol useless because doesn't cure cirrhosis of the liver. The question posed in the study is whether teaching transcription and composition based on a cursive curriculum might be useful treating children with dyslexic dysgraphia. Evidently it isn't, but the conclusion may well provide useful insights into the genesis of the condition even if it doesn't suggest a treatment. The study conclusions do not appear to these old eyes to be directly applicable to anything more general.

 

So Ray Bolger dodges another high hard one.

 

(BTW, the universe of the test was exactly 12 children with dyslexic dysgraphia. That may be one of the reasons the authors, in proper candor, called the study quasi-experimental.)


The liberty of the press is indeed essential to the nature of a free state; but this consists in laying no previous restraints upon publications, and not in freedom from censure for criminal matter when published. Every freeman has an undoubted right to lay what sentiments he pleases before the public; to forbid this, is to destroy the freedom of the press; but if he publishes what is improper, mischievous or illegal, he must take the consequence of his own temerity. (4 Bl. Com. 151, 152.) Blackstone's Commentaries


#5 KateGladstone

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 14:46

I'm aware of the limitations of this study; I picked out that study simply because:
/a/ like the PBS piece, it addresses dyslexia —
and /b/ it is one of a growing number of studies which, at various times in media discussions of handwriting, have been misquoted as showing better outcomes for cursive than for other forms of handwriting.

I am curious to see how long it takes before this hoe gets misquoted too.

#6 KateGladstone

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 14:48

Given the limitations of the study i noted, would you be interested in links to other studies on the matter (thT lad larger sample sizes and/or that were not limited to dyslexics and/or to dysgraphics)?

#7 Mickey

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 14:59

Given the limitations of the study i noted, would you be interested in links to other studies on the matter (thT lad larger sample sizes and/or that were not limited to dyslexics and/or to dysgraphics)?

 

Not especially, as I suspect they will likely be equally illuminating and germane. I still question why in the first place you posted a citation from a study with absolutely zero applicability to the question at hand. That it was short is irrelevant and your claim for it was more than intellectually suspect. Count your toes. I think you blew off a few with that salvo.


The liberty of the press is indeed essential to the nature of a free state; but this consists in laying no previous restraints upon publications, and not in freedom from censure for criminal matter when published. Every freeman has an undoubted right to lay what sentiments he pleases before the public; to forbid this, is to destroy the freedom of the press; but if he publishes what is improper, mischievous or illegal, he must take the consequence of his own temerity. (4 Bl. Com. 151, 152.) Blackstone's Commentaries


#8 Mardi13

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 15:11

Um, folks, I didn't mean to start any dramaz over this, I just thought it was noteworthy that the Newshour ran the story at all. Posting the link didn't mean that I agree with and preach everything that they said. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

Edited to add: I guess I find it sad that there is no room in the school curriculum for "just because" learning. Everything has to be justified by what ELSE it can do for a child, not what it is in itself. Lately that seems to include things like art and music too, which in my view should not have to be argued for from the point of view of what OTHER benefits can be derived from these disciplines. Art and music are important *in themselves.* They have their own unique benefits. And I hope that strongly stating that opinion here (yes, I'm in the arts business) does not offend anyone.

Edited by Mardi13, 07 May 2014 - 15:18.


#9 Mickey

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 15:48

Um, folks, I didn't mean to start any dramaz over this, I just thought it was noteworthy that the Newshour ran the story at all. Posting the link didn't mean that I agree with and preach everything that they said. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

Edited to add: I guess I find it sad that there is no room in the school curriculum for "just because" learning. Everything has to be justified by what ELSE it can do for a child, not what it is in itself. Lately that seems to include things like art and music too, which in my view should not have to be argued for from the point of view of what OTHER benefits can be derived from these disciplines. Art and music are important *in themselves.* They have their own unique benefits. And I hope that strongly stating that opinion here (yes, I'm in the arts business) does not offend anyone.

 

I think you're right on the money. Subjects do have an intrinsic value, but those which for millennia have been held core subjects (e.g., music) have collateral value, value which can be demonstrated easily if one only asks the right question. Unfortunately, those making the decisions usually (and I fear intentionally) ask the wrong questions.


The liberty of the press is indeed essential to the nature of a free state; but this consists in laying no previous restraints upon publications, and not in freedom from censure for criminal matter when published. Every freeman has an undoubted right to lay what sentiments he pleases before the public; to forbid this, is to destroy the freedom of the press; but if he publishes what is improper, mischievous or illegal, he must take the consequence of his own temerity. (4 Bl. Com. 151, 152.) Blackstone's Commentaries


#10 disillusion

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 16:49

Given the limitations of the study i noted, would you be interested in links to other studies on the matter (thT lad larger sample sizes and/or that were not limited to dyslexics and/or to dysgraphics)?

I am interested in reading these studies you mention.


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#11 Columba Livia

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 17:01

Kate Gladstone, I noticed that on your website you have a link for ordering badges which have "I hate cursive" printed on them. Now that makes me think you might be just a little biased against cursive. :lol:

Edited by Columba Livia, 07 May 2014 - 17:02.


#12 proton007

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 02:33

Kate Gladstone, I noticed that on your website you have a link for ordering badges which have "I hate cursive" printed on them. Now that makes me think you might be just a little biased against cursive. :lol:

 

It's not only her. Most people I know who 'hate' Cursive, or are biased against it, do so because their own childhood experience learning it wasn't pleasant. Handwriting, like any other activity, needs persistence and discipline. For kids, those two things aren't short of torture, because we all know kids have those two qualities in abundance :P .

 

This does bring up a point on the teaching of 'Cursive' and any script in general. Schools generally teach them in primary, and expect students to be all set by the time they're in secondary school.

However, the steadiness of hand needed to write well formed, consistent letters grows slowly, so some bit of practice in secondary school works wonders, and also helps alleviate some of the frustration.


Edited by proton007, 08 May 2014 - 05:54.

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#13 dcwaites

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 05:11

Taking notes by hand is better for learning than typing them on a computer/notebook.

As well, you can take notes faster writing cursive than printing.

Forget about the elegance (at least as far as my own handwriting is concerned) cursive is simply more practical for any learning activity.


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#14 kaolin

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 14:41

I feel that the discussion about "cursive or not" is really missing the point. The first focus should be to get the students to write better, in ANY script. If you look at the video, it is clear that all students were holding their pen/pencils in the wrong way: squeezing hard with the fist, holding way to close to the tip of the pen. They were writing in a forced way in horrible posture. In this way one will not be able to write well in any script. Given that the cursive script demand higher level of control, teaching cursive to these students are just setting them up for failure. 



#15 proton007

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 15:02

I feel that the discussion about "cursive or not" is really missing the point. The first focus should be to get the students to write better, in ANY script. If you look at the video, it is clear that all students were holding their pen/pencils in the wrong way: squeezing hard with the fist, holding way to close to the tip of the pen. They were writing in a forced way in horrible posture. In this way one will not be able to write well in any script. Given that the cursive script demand higher level of control, teaching cursive to these students are just setting them up for failure. 

 

I've only managed to find news and articles on teaching 'Cursive'. There's no mention whether other styles are 'taught' or students are just asked to 'copy letters'.

 

If the latter's the case, then there's no emphasis on holding the pen or letter formation. Everyone's on their own, they just pick up shapes the best they can with their grip.


Edited by proton007, 08 May 2014 - 15:03.

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#16 RudyR

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 19:02

It must also be remembered that the real utility of cursive or any similar style of writing was for the sake of speed. Be it Italic as taught in Oregon or the Palmer method, the purpose was the same, to gain speed in writing. Cursive itself was more for style and in the US there were even several styles of handwriting designated for use by merchants. There even was a gender biased style of writing back in US Eastern Colonial times.

 

Print slows me down significantly and not nearly as enjoyable to me as cursive. The flow is much better.  And now  with kids writing in all caps, its like someone shouting at me online. Not at all pleasant. 


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#17 proton007

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 01:30

It must also be remembered that the real utility of cursive or any similar style of writing was for the sake of speed. Be it Italic as taught in Oregon or the Palmer method, the purpose was the same, to gain speed in writing. Cursive itself was more for style and in the US there were even several styles of handwriting designated for use by merchants. There even was a gender biased style of writing back in US Eastern Colonial times.

 

Print slows me down significantly and not nearly as enjoyable to me as cursive. The flow is much better.  And now  with kids writing in all caps, its like someone shouting at me online. Not at all pleasant. 

 

In all the 'fast written' printing I've seen, the horizontals of the letters all slant upwards, and the next letter is connected using these slants.

 

However, the horizontal and vertical strokes are directionally perpendicular, so it takes longer to write them down. To increase the speed further, some don't even lift the pen between strokes, others just round-off the vertical lines.

 

My point is, illegibility comes because of bad letter formation, either due to a lack of practice, or writing at high speed. Cursive, when written at the same speed as printing, seems much more legible, because it's design doesn't require sacrificing letter formation to gain speed.


In a world where there are no eyes the sun would not be light, and in a world where there were no soft skins rocks would not be hard, nor in a world where there were no muscles would they be heavy. Existence is relationship and you're smack in the middle of it.

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#18 Runnin_Ute

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 00:23

Whether cursive helps with other language skills is really irrelevant.

 

We do know that it has been shown in a number of studies writing it down versus some sort of keyboarding does help retention skills. I agree that cursive script - of whatever style is designed for legibility at higher speeds over printing. About the time I entered Junior High School I developed a hybrid style of writing which often times was ALL CAPS. Partially because of a shop class where we needed to use ALL CAPS for some drafting assignments we had. My cursive wasn't "bad" per se, it just wasn't great. Over the years it evolved. I use the hybrid style less and less now and the cursive I learned as a kid more and more - especially over the last 12-18 months. I find it faster, more legible than ever before (my printing is still MORE legible though.) I have been told on a number of occasions that I have nice handwriting. Both with my cursive and my printing. So much so, that a co-worker asks me to address envelopes for her. Only takes a moment or two normally and it is one more thing I get to use my pens doing at work.

 

Not sure if what they taught here in Utah was Palmer, or one of the other business hands.


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#19 Anne-Sophie

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 07:00

 

It's not only her. Most people I know who 'hate' Cursive, or are biased against it, do so because their own childhood experience learning it wasn't pleasant. Handwriting, like any other activity, needs persistence and discipline. For kids, those two things aren't short of torture, because we all know kids have those two qualities in abundance :P .

 

This does bring up a point on the teaching of 'Cursive' and any script in general. Schools generally teach them in primary, and expect students to be all set by the time they're in secondary school.

However, the steadiness of hand needed to write well formed, consistent letters grows slowly, so some bit of practice in secondary school works wonders, and also helps alleviate some of the frustration.

 

I understand those people feelings about cursive, I have the same about print handwriting.

 

I find that computers produce perfect print, every time. So, why bother with print handwriting?

 

I love cursive and practice to improve my handwriting by incorporating the best of Copperplate forms into it.

I use cursive forms of handwriting because I find them beautiful but others are free to spend most, if not all of their time using print, if that makes them happy.


Edited by Anne-Sophie, 18 May 2014 - 07:01.

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#20 NevynM

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 12:48

I find cursive hard to read, even "well written" cursive. Reading old letters is like deciphering a foreign language.

 

If the first and most important part of writing is readability, then why add in a whol eload of loops to obfuscate it?

 

My grades in high school leaped when I was allowed to stop using cursive and start using print.


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