Monday, February 20, 2012

Can we learn from Mexico? - Edda Manley

We can have 101 reasons why we need to write in cursive, but until we find some that connect with parents, teachers, and students on an emotional level, change won’t happen. 

1) Children who are able to learn to write in the USA (same goes for Canada) are those where the parents have enough money to send the children to private schools or tutors.  I fear this will ultimately lead to a “class” system. Ironically, I don’t think most teachers have salaries high enough to send their children to private schools. Something for teachers to think long and hard about.

2) Most Latin-based language countries (all of South America and Central America and others around the world) value cursive writing or “caligrafia” as they call it and make sure their children are able to write fluently. This will, in the future, put North American children at a disadvantage from a global perspective.

We have so much valid information about the Importance of Handwriting, yet we stay on the wrong road instead of getting back onto the right road. 

3) At a 2002 conference that we hosted in Canada, one of our presenters, Inez Emmaus from Mexico, told us that for over 18 years only printing was taught in Mexico because in those days, their President didn't like to write in cursive so he banned it from the schools. Around the year 2000, the education leaders of the country decided that cursive was to be brought back into the curriculum. The first thing they had to do was to send the teachers who could not write in cursive back to school to learn how to write and teach cursive.
Maybe the thought of bringing Mexican people into the USA to teach American children how to write in cursive will inspire the education leaders to look after own. 

3 comments:

  1. That's interesting, Edda.

    Being a former teacher at a time when cursive was still being taught in the schools, I find it ironic that both my grown children have adopted a print style. My artistic daughter uses a print script (mostly print)while my son uses block print style.

    BTW, Edda, someone on the Vanguard asked about the comment in your conference notes, "cursive is faster than printing"? Do you know of any studies related to this topic? Thanks.

    Linda Green

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  2. Interesting on-line survey of how handwriting's taught in different countries — http://fountainpennetwork.com/forum.php?/topic/101258/how-does-your-countryregionlocal-school-teach-handwriting/

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  3. I spoke with a school district coordinator this week who is in his 30s and he was never taught to write in cursive. He lamented that he is embarrassed about not having a "good" signature.

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