Should teaching cursive be mandatory in Indiana schools?

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – After a bill about cursive teaching requirements passed Monday, there was a lot of discussion about the topic so NewsChannel 15 looked into it some more Tuesday.

Many people say they use cursive for legal documents. But we didn’t find anything online that stated it’s legally required to sign a signature in cursive. We also found out there are a lot of people who support this idea.

According to History.com, cursive writing has been around in schools since the early 1700’s. But since it hasn’t been a core requirement in Indiana, it has eventually faded out of lesson plans. Still, more people than you might think still use it.

“I do use cursive, not for just general writing, I kind of have a mix of print and cursive,” James Defore said.

“I personally write in cursive. I think it’s cool,” Holly Woollweever said.

Senator Jean Leising also thinks it’s cool. She’s been trying for the past six years to require each Indiana school corporation, charter school and accredited nonpublic elementary schools to add cursive to the core curriculum.

Professor and chair of educational studies at IPFW, Isabel Nunez, thinks it’s a hard sell, even though she does enjoy cursive. “So much of teacher’s work is mandated and the curriculum is so constrained by other kinds of mandates.”

As of 3 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, almost 90 percent of the voters on our poll said it’s a good idea. And almost everyone NewsChannel 15 talked to Tuesday agreed.

“There’s a lot of people who still write and read it so its important for our kids to learn that,” Defore said.

“A part of me really resignates with that desire and that impetus to bring this part of human expression back into the curriculum,” Nunez said.

“I think that students should write in whatever style they want. Print is good and cursive is good and neither should be mandatory,” Tabo Chata said.

Indiana Senator Leising has been at this effort for six years. Monday her bill passed the senate with a 38 to 11 vote. It would require each school corporation, charter school, and accredited nonpublic elementary school to include cursive writing in its curriculum. This became optional in 2011 when common core didn’t include cursive.

We didn’t have enough time to do a recorded interview Tuesday, but Leising told NewsChannel 15 she is persistent on this. She said medical professionals have proven cursive writing enhances the cognitive development of a child’s brain. She also said 12 states mandate the teaching of cursive and 14 others are looking into it.