The Instigator
awesomeness
Pro (for)
Winning
24 Points
The Contender
IfYouCantTakeTheHeat
Con (against)
Losing
2 Points

Schools should teach cursive writing.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
awesomeness
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/7/2011 Category: Education
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,913 times Debate No: 19722
Debate Rounds (1)
Comments (5)
Votes (6)

 

awesomeness

Pro

Almost 2,000 years ago, Roman author Marcus Quintilianus wrote that "too slow a hand impedes the mind."
RESOLVED: Schools should not teach cursive writing.
Before I present my main arguments I'd like to provide a proper framework for today's debate…
RESOLUTIONAL ANALYSIS & DEFINITIONS:
First, some analysis of the topic and definitions….
● We view this topic as a potential government policy, in which case…
● "SCHOOLS" should refer to all kindergarten through 12th grade U.S. public schools.
● "NOT TEACH CURSIVE" means to remove all cursive writing instruction from all school curriculums, effective immediately.
STANDARD: Quality of Education
Second, and more importantly, we need a standard for this round, a weighing mechanism to determine the winner of today's debate.
● Because we are discussing what's best for students, EDUCATION should obviously be the most important issue in this round.
● Specifically, the QUALITY OF EDUCATION, meaning: test scores, comprehension, preparedness for college, etc. We believe the team that does the best
job of proving, through evidence and reasoning, that they most positively impact education in this country, should win today's debate.
With all of that in mind, our team will win by showing everyone here that, contrary to popular belief, cursive is not a lost or dying art. It is actually a vital and invaluable
tool that we must continue to teach students. We have several arguments…
CONTENTION 1: Good Cursive Handwriting is Important to the Success of Grade School Students (Statistical)
Our first main argument is very simple: good handwriting is important to the success of grade school students. This is because handwriting is used for the majority of
school activities and because good hand writing translates into better grades. We can prove this statistically…
● Steven Graham, Vanderbilt University Education Professor and literary expert, stated in an interview in September that…
"90% of activities kids do in school involve handwriting, and better handwriting coincides with better grades."
(National Public Radio, September 2011)
● In fact, a comprehensive statistical study was conducted several years ago that proved this. 45 short essays written by 9th grade students, and then
rewritten by 5 experts trained in the Palmer Handwriting Method, one of the most well-known cursive handwriting styles. All 90 essays were then graded
by 12 teachers trained in the P.B. Diedrich holistic scoring technique. Statistical analyses showed that the professionally rewritten cursive essays received
much higher scores. (The Effect of Handwriting on Teachers' Grading of High School Essays, study published in the Journal of the Association for the
Study of Perception, Fall 1982)
● IMPACT: The positive educational impact of this is clear: 90% of what kids do in school involves handwriting, even in today's technologically advanced
world. If kids have good handwriting, specifically good cursive writing, they will receive better grades and do better in school.
CONTENTION 2: Cursive Writing Scientifically Proves to Improve Reading/Writing
Our second main argument is that cursive writing has been scientifically proven to improve reading and writing skills. A recent article in Helium, an online educational
community, interviewed three highly respected professionals on this subject.
● Iris Hatfield, creator of the New American Cursive program, stated that "Cursive improves neural connections in the brain." She stresses that physiological
movement of writing cursive letters "help build pathways in the brain while improving mental effectiveness" and that this increased effectiveness may
continue throughout a child's academic career.
● R. Shadmehr & H. Holcomb of Johns Hopkins University (no relation to our middle school) published a study in Science Magazine showing that their
subject's brains actually changed in reaction to physical instruction such as cursive handwriting lessons. The researchers provided PET scans as
evidence of these changes in brain structure. Further, they also demonstrated that these changes resulted in an "almost immediate improvement in
fluency," which led to later development of neural pathways. As a result of practicing motor skills, the researchers found, knowledge becomes more stable.
● Pulitzer Prize nominated neurologist Frank Wilson, author of "The Hand: How Its Use Shapes The Brain, Language, And Human Culture," states that "You
can't really separate what's in the mind from what's in the body. Knowledge really is the whole behavior of the whole organism," and that teachers should
not "educate the mind by itself." He argues that lessons do not involve the hands and the body in full movement, much of the knowledge will be poorly
processed and inadequately learned.
● IMPACT: All of this scientifically proves that cursive writing is very important to learning how to read and write.
CONTENTION 3: Cursive Writing Aids Higher Learning & Employment
Our third main argument is that cursive writing aids higher learning and employment.
● The vast majority of students who wish to pursue higher learning will more than likely have to take the SATs and Advanced Placement (AP) exams in high
school in order to apply to the best universities in the country, as well as receive college credit for advanced courses.
● Since 2006, the SATs have included a timed written essay section worth 800 out of the total 2,400 points possible on the exam.
● According to College Board, the administrators of the SATs: "Essay readers must be able to decipher a student's handwriting to provide an evaluation. A
paper that is illegible cannot be scored." (New SAT for the Press: Frequently Asked Questions, College Board, 2010)
● According to data collected directly from College Board in 2007, 15% of students wrote their SAT essays in cursive did better than those that used other
types of handwriting.
● Karen Klein, a trained scorer for the SATs, wrote in her book, "How I Gamed the SATs," that students should "write at least a page and a quarter. Nobody
who got one of the top scores wrote one page or less." This gives students who write quickly with cursive a clear advantage.
● Like the SATs, College Board's Advanced Placement exams also have written free response sections, including the math and science tests such as
statistics and physics. Also like the SATs, students have a limited time to complete these sections.
● Furthermore, two of the historically most difficult employment exams, the LSAT and MCAT for aspiring lawyers and doctors, also have a timed written
section where being able to write quickly and in cursive gives test takes a huge advantage.
● IMPACT: The impact of all of this is clear. Being able to write quickly and neatly on timed examinations is important, as it is almost a necessary skill when
trying to gain access to good colleges and high paying jobs.
CONTENTION X: Cursive Writing Provides Numerous Specific Benefits to Students
Our X main argument is that cursive writing provides numerous specific benefits to students.
● Author and educator Samuel Blumenfeld lists several benefits cursive writing provides students in his book: "How Should We Teach Our Children to
Write? Cursive First, Print Later!"
● Cursive penmanship is easier than print: only three movements vs. perfect circles and straight lines in print.
● Prevents reversals and confusion of letters: The letters "b and d", "f and t", "g, q and p" are confusing for young children. In cursive, writing the letter "b
and d" require a huge difference in directionality.
● Enhances spelling ability: cursive writing movements create muscle memory.
● Potential for errors are diminished: cursive handwriting reduces errors because of the continuous flow of writing. In print, the child picks up the pencil from
the paper to start a new letter in a word, thus the potential for mistakes is higher.
● Improved reading skills: the goal in reading is to read words instead of letters at a time. Cursive writing promotes reading words, instead of a distinct letter.
After words, reading will move to sentences. Thus, remedial support for comprehension and reading of words are occurring less. The child reads what he
or she writes as "whole words" rather than as individual letters.
● Used as a tool to put thoughts on paper quickly and easily: children write faster and can notes better from lectures.
● IMPACT: All of these are advantages students will have when it comes to performing any sort of reading/writing.
IfYouCantTakeTheHeat

Con

Your points are very valid. But teaching cursive writing should not be taught in school.

C1: Education
Cursive writing should be more of a challenge than a requirement. Although cursive writing can be helpful, it takes a lot of time and patience out of teachers. Also children in grades K-2 have a lot of trouble writing in regular writing, so what makes you think that they should be taught cursive writing if they can't write the regular way? Also cursing is something that would not help with their education. Cursive writing is just another way of writing.

C2: Students
This reason involves students. Some students are much smarter than other students. Some students need to concentrate more important topics than another piece of writing. Also if cursive is so important, it would be taught by now but it is not. Students do not need to learn another type of writing.

C3: Technology
I know this one is fully about education but just read.

Technology these days. There is so much you can do with it you don't need to write in cursive. Since so many more school these days have more technology, they do not need to learn about cursive writing since they have technology products like Apple, and Dell.

These are my reasons why cursive writing should not be taught in school.
Debate Round No. 1
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by OberHerr 5 years ago
OberHerr
1 round debates = Not good. I find them pointless tbh.
Posted by caveat 5 years ago
caveat
That'd be an interesting topic, vmpire o:
Posted by vmpire321 5 years ago
vmpire321
This is like me creating a debate called "Humans can think" and then going PRO.....
Posted by vmpire321 5 years ago
vmpire321
This is like me creating a debate called "Humans can think" and then going PRO.....
Posted by bcresmer 5 years ago
bcresmer
I went to catholic school. They teach cursive in first grade there.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 5 years ago
Man-is-good
awesomenessIfYouCantTakeTheHeatTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro used several sources including neurological studies, testimonies, and so on to show, albeit on a somewhat superficial level, that cursive writing was beneficial for the "neuron connections" and faculties of students as well as being a possible factor in high academic scores and achievements...Con did little to refute any of Pro's claims and made weak contentions unsupported by evidence and easily refuted. His "students" contention in particular fails to show how not being taught=no importanc
Vote Placed by Reid 5 years ago
Reid
awesomenessIfYouCantTakeTheHeatTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Although this "one round" debate left no rebuttal arguments, Pro had more convincing arguments from a "cost benefit" analysis, while Con stuck to logic and assumptions without proof / sources.
Vote Placed by vmpire321 5 years ago
vmpire321
awesomenessIfYouCantTakeTheHeatTied
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Reasons for voting decision: PRO had better arguments in this short debate... But 1 round?
Vote Placed by wierdman 5 years ago
wierdman
awesomenessIfYouCantTakeTheHeatTied
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Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: I voted based on argument and Pro simply won. pro should have made more rounds to allow for a more debatable environment which is why i gave conduct to co.
Vote Placed by Buckethead31594 5 years ago
Buckethead31594
awesomenessIfYouCantTakeTheHeatTied
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Total points awarded:51 
Reasons for voting decision: Although neither side had any accountable citations, Pro referenced external sources. Con had better spelling and grammar. Overall, Pro had better arguments; Con seemed as if they briskly responded to Pro's arguments.
Vote Placed by Nur-Ab-Sal 5 years ago
Nur-Ab-Sal
awesomenessIfYouCantTakeTheHeatTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro was more convincing, though well done Con.