Survey of educators shows support for cursive writing

By Makenna Mays
TheStatehouseFile.com

INDIANAPOLIS – Cursive writing may no longer be a skill of the past if state Sen. Jean Leising’s bill to mandate that dying art in Indiana schools gets a hearing in the House of Representatives.

“Cursive writing is a skill everyone should have, as we use our signature to make purchases, validate our driver’s license and sign agreements,” said Leising, R-Oldenburg, in a statement.

Sen. Jean Leising, R-Oldenburg, wants to mandate cursive handwriting in Indiana schools. Photo by Lindsay Wenning, TheStatehouseFile.com

Seventy percent of educators surveyed by the state Department of Education said they support teaching cursive handwriting in schools. Those responding to the voluntary survey were elementary and secondary education teachers, principals, superintendents and members of school governing bodies.

“Given the results of this survey, I plan to file a bill during the 2018 legislative session that would require cursive writing to be taught in school,” Leising said. 

Teresa Meredith, president of the Indiana State Teachers Association, was not surprised by the results of the survey.

“We’ve known for a while that most teachers support it,” said Meredith. “They see it as something that is part of improving fine motor skills, developmental skills and something they need to learn.”

Because there are so many benefits to learning cursive as well as documents that require a signature, Meredith said that many teachers believe it is an important life skill.

“There is research to show that are brain synapses that happen when certain skills are taught and when certain movements of the hand happen,” Meredith said.

Meredith also said that she sees a basic grasp of cursive being important for the foreseeable future. However, she believes that it should be a local decision for school corporations when it comes to mandating cursive.

While some schools may want it woven into their curriculum, others may want to do something fun like a camp cursive.

“I would hate to see it mandated to be a certain amount of time so many days a week,” said Meredith. “I would really like to see it be something that is determined in terms of it’s implemented at a local level.”

Leising said that she is looking forward to senators joining her on the legislation.

I hope the results of this survey will help my bill finally get a hearing in the House of Representatives,” Leising said.

She has introduced the proposed legislation six times in the past and while it has passed the Senate it has failed to gain traction in the House.

Makenna Mays is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

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One Response to Survey of educators shows support for cursive writing

  1. While I don’t disagree that some measure of classroom time should be dedicated to teaching cursive writing, it is important to recognize that (not that long ago) arguably TOO much time was being allotted — at the expense of time dedicated to teaching kids computer keyboarding skills.

    Because while it’s certainly true that our children need to be given an opportunity to learn how to write in cursive, school corporations need to be thoughtful in how time they put into teaching that skill as part of the school day as a whole.

    And, it should be taught only up to a certain grade level. That being said, this decision and how it is implemented rests with each school corporation. Once the decision is made by educators, it needs to be signed off by the administration and established as part of the curriculum and NOT as a policy to be voted on by the local school board. I say that as a past president and former school board member of the Brownsburg Community School Corporation.

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