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
Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament
Opinion
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
Poll

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