Schools are always revising their curriculums to promote important skills, while less relevant skills receive little or no attention at all. For example, educators today don't teach students outdated ways of solving math problems because modern students have access to tools such as computers and calculators. Another skill that is being taken out of curriculums is handwriting. Traditionally, handwriting was an important skill taught throughout elementary education. However, in some schools, print handwriting is now only taught in kindergarten and first grade. Cursive writing, usually taught from second grade on, is no longer taught at all. Such conventional training is being cut to make room for computer skills and typing practice.
A lot of people are unhappy about these changes, and first among those complaining are the parents of the students. Many of these parents fear that their children would face future difficulties if they never learned to read or write traditional cursive writing. Others are concerned that a lack of exposure to cursive handwriting will have a negative effect on their children's creativity and memory. A recent study conducted by psychologists at Indiana University showed evidence that these concerns are well-grounded. In an experiment, children were asked to identify a letter or symbol and then recreate it. The children were asked to draw the symbol, follow a pre-drawn pattern, or type it. When brain scans of the children were analyzed, those who drew the symbol activated more parts of their brain and also remembered how to recreate it better. From this, psychologists theorized that complex actions such as drawing improved memory development more than simple ones like pressing a button.
As fewer and fewer students are exposed to cursive handwriting, the cost to future generations may be greater than we can now imagine.