In 2012, it’s no secret that letter writing is a dying art.
In fact, it looks as though handwriting and penmanship may already be dead and buried.
If you are a parent with a child in one of the New York City elementary public schools, according to the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS), handwriting as a subject is no longer required.
In fact, handwriting, penmanship and learning cursive have not been a requirement for quite a time. Go ahead: Ask any fourth-grader about cursive, and you likely will get a “what’s that?”
With the proliferation of digital communications, more and more children are developing their writing skills on a keyboard and less on a piece of paper. Typeface has replaced cursive, and emotions now are conveyed through emoticons.
It’s important to note that CCSS does not say teachers cannot teach handwriting and cursive. But the focus of CCSS is on modern writing skills that enable children to compete in the 21st Century, such as discipline-specific content, including building effective arguments, technical writing, coherency and tone.
Most can agree: Penmanship probably was not our favorite subject in school. However, as adults, how many of us can imagine a professional life writing without the ease of cursive? What about the tiny little joy of recognizing a loved one's handwriting and, naturally, connecting it to their personality? And what about signatures? What will become of those?
In many ways, handwriting is the last bastion of personalized communication. Once that’s gone entirely, we can look forward to a world where even grandma’s sweet missives will come in a form of a text-- and then, once that becomes too cumbersome, maybe not at all.
What do you think? Should handwriting and cursive once again be a requirement, or is it an irrelevant form of communication that should be left in the past?
Take our poll, and tell us what you think in the comments.