Niagara Gazette

Local News

April 28, 2013

Writing's on the wall for teaching cursive in school

Niagara Gazette — When New York state signed on to join the common core learning standards, educators of all kinds realized a major change was coming.

One of the largest shifts the new curriculum makes is one away from classic handwriting toward computer typing. Though they can’t do anything about the new standards, local educators certainly do feel a slight unease about abandoning a tool humans have relied on for centuries.

“When you write, you carry through complete thoughts,” Niagara-Wheatfield Interim Superintendent James Knowles said. “When you’re typing on a computer, you don’t think in complete thoughts. You don’t worry about your spelling, about your grammar. It’s difficult to watch.”

Niagara-Wheatfield’s temporary chief has overseen the district’s conversion to common core this year, after former Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum Development Jennifer Cawley fell victim to budget cuts in June.

Knowles is an old-school educator, as is his wife, Marilyn. She’s a retired English teacher who spent considerable time teaching and helping students perfect their handwriting skills. The soon-to-be lost art form, at least in the digital age, is representative of a lack of personal touch among human interaction.

Such a life is a little disturbing, he said.

“Technology has taken away a lot of life’s personal touch,” he said. “People don’t even pay attention to other people anymore. Like, if you watch little kids in a restaurant, they all have little iPads. They don’t know how to handle social situations anymore.”

“A hand-written note is far more personal. Now people would rather send an email. But I’d rather get a note written by hand.”

While Knowles is concerned about the future, educators in the Wilson Central School District found a little leeway in the common core standards to try a new experiment.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
House Ads
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page

Do you think cigarette sales to non-Native American customers should be taxed on reservations?

Yes. Items should be taxed like they are everywhere else.
No, the indian reservations are sovereign land and they are selling them on their land.
Not up to me. Native Americans decide the rules on their land.
Don't care. Smoking isn't good for you.
     View Results