Senate education committee weighs cursive writing instruction


One Indiana lawmaker wants to require schools to teach cursive writing. But many teachers and administrators across the state are already working on ways to balance tradition with new skills.

On a typical day at Bridgeport Elementary School, students learn math, science, reading, and on some days, keyboarding. But in another classrooms just down the hall from the lab, Miss Yoder's fourth grade class is practicing their cursive handwriting.

The spokesperson for Wayne Township Schools, Mary Lang, says that while cursive writing is not a mandated part of state curriculum, they still see its value in a child's education.

"We have been seeing more of a focus on keyboarding the past several years as we've focused on a very important 21st century skill, which is being able to be a digital learner. That being said, we do not want our students to lose sight of what cursive is, how to do it, how to recognize it, and we also understand it's a very important part of our history," said Lang.

State Sen. Jean Leising introduced a bill to the Senate Education Committee Wednesday afternoon to make cursive writing a mandatory part of school curriculum. The committee did not vote on the bill today, but plans to discuss it more next week.

The bill would require all public school districts and all accredited private elementary schools to teach cursive.  Last year similar legislation made it through committee and the Senate, but then died on the floor of the House.

Lang says parents want to see their children proficient in cursive as well as computer skills. During the next year, she says cursive will be incorporated into lessons "so we're certain that our students are learning it along with the keyboarding that's necessary for digital learning."