Teaching cursive: Gen Z never learned cursive

Teaching cursive: Gen Z never learned cursive


20150929 A Facebook post showing a teacher’s frustration with a 7-year-old student writing her name on an assignment in cursive went viral, posing the question of whether learning the style reaps benefits or wastes time.


The Atlantic reported that the 2010 Common Core standards began omitting cursive instruction, meaning that many members of Gen Z have never been taught how to read or write cursive. According to The Washington Post, even though this form of handwriting used to be a mainstay of American public education, “for many students, cursive is becoming as foreign as ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics.”

With the development and prominence of technology, cursive has become increasingly obsolete, but what impact will this have for the future?

According to The Atlantic, this means, “In the future, cursive will have to be taught to scholars the way Elizabethan secretary hand or paleography is today.” This directly impacts archival work. Many written documents from the 19th century and other early time periods are written in cursive. While it was once taken for granted that American students would know how to read cursive, now that cannot be the case.

Archival work largely depends on a reader’s ability to read hard-to-read texts in shorthand and/or cursive. Will this mean that universities will start having to offer college courses in history programs on how to read cursive? Only time will tell.

Cursive writing practice sheets

Now that you know that cursive is falling by the wayside, it may be a good time to revamp your skills. You can find free cursive writing practice sheets online to practice your skills. For example, K5Learning provides free cursive writing practice sheets that you can print and use to relearn your letters.

Who knows? Learning cursive might just be the ticket to archival and historian jobs in the future.

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