An Intelligent New Way to Teach Cursive
The method is clear and simple.
Posted Jan 14, 2015
Over 50 years ago, there was such a thing as teachers of "penmanship." Do schools have such teachers today? If they do, I am sure they are on the road to extinction. Schools are throwing cursive into the trash heap of educational history. The reasons: crowded curriculum and few teachers who know how to teach cursive.
I have lamented the loss of handwriting teaching in a blog post here that triggered a couple hundred responses, both pro and con (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/memory-medic/201303/why-writing-hand...). My perspective was as a neuroscientist who believes that learning cursive is developmentally beneficial for a young developing brain. Learning cursive provides crucial benefit to children at an age when they need it most: a sense of involvement and ownership, hand-eye coordination, patience, and self-control.
Now comes a short manual, "CursiveLogic" by Linda Shrewsbury that shows teachers and parents how to teach cursive the way it was done when I was a kid. I recognize many of the key elements that I learned from my 7th grade penmanship teacher: the proper way to hold a pencil, the role of forearm movement, and the need for deliberate practice on ruled paper. But this manual has an important innovation: a logic that groups the alphabet into four shape categories that share certain common movements.
I hope this book can keep cursive in the school curriculum. Educators no longer have the excuse that cursive is too hard to learn and that they can't find teachers who can teach it. Write on!
For more on learning and brain function, see my new books, Memory Power 101 and Mental Biology.