Zimmerman case: Cursive

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by JustMe, Jun 28, 2013.

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  1. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    http://news.yahoo.com/cursive-writing-dead-162632387.html

    I sincerely and deeply feel for this girl whose name is now all over the Internet because she had to admit on the stand she couldn't read cursive...I am sure because she wasn't taught, and then never or rarely encountered it to learn or feel the need to learn independently. :(

    I know we've discussed the value of cursive before, but does instances such as this sway anyone?
     
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  3. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    It made me cry. Also, the fact that a friend had to help her compose the letter made me think she is very uneducated even though she is at the end of her school career.
     
  4. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Many of the schools are not teaching cursive anymore, so I would assume there are probably many now in the same boat. I fear that soon cursive will just be a thing of the past.
     
  5. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I guess that's one reason it made me sad... She's now the "face" of being "cursive illiterate" despite being one of many.

    Common Core doesn't require the teaching of cursive.
     
  6. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    It is a big ole' national media indication about public schools. Many people hear "rumors" that cursive is no longer taught (among a bunch of other things that were once the domain of school), but many are supportive of public schools and brush it aside as just one school or one teacher that didn't teach it.
     
  7. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Well, being able to read it and spending time critiquing the ability to form it are two different things. But really, what makes me more concerned is her likely inability to read very well at all.

    I wouldn't be upset even if cursive were extinct.
     
  8. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I think it is a shame.

    Kids can't read analog clocks either.
     
  9. alioxenfree

    alioxenfree Rookie

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    It is sad. We teach cursive at my school, but there is not much time for it. I do think it is important for kids to at least learn to read cursive so after I teach all the letters I use it to write directions, the date, etc. More knowledge can lead to more opportunities. There are so many important documents and letters written in cursive, we need someone to be able to read them!

    Last year I found some notes my late aunt wrote in cursive and I am glad I was able to read them for myself. I hope if my nephew ever finds any of my old letters (which I wrote in cursive), he'll be able to do the same.
     
  10. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    I would say she's one of those students who sits in the back of the class, checking her cell phone under the desk, not really interested in what's going on, or too shy to participate.
     
  11. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I tend to agree, especially considering that she is 19 and still in high school. Is that normal in that state? I ask because one of the first witnesses was 14 and in the 7th grade. To me, those ages are pretty high for those grade levels. In my experience, most 7th graders are 12 or so and most high school seniors are 17 or so.
     
  12. TeachOn

    TeachOn Habitué

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    Struggling to read cursive is the least of this woman's problems, and she is at an age where we rightly hold individuals responsible for their shortcomings, or ought to, so I do not feel particularly sorry for her. I do feel sorry for any man whose freedom depends upon her ability to recognize and express the truth.
     
  13. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    As for the original question about the value of cursive, I could probably lean either way. On the one hand, there are lots of things that were done in "olden times" that are no longer useful or relevant with the advent of certain technology. On the other hand, documents from the past are still sometimes relevant today. If you can't read them because they're written in an unfamiliar script, then they may as well not exist because the information in them will be inaccessible.
     
  14. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Of the patent defects in this student's education, inability to read cursive may be the one I find least troubling.
     
  15. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    I just wish I had time to teach cursive! I didn't have time to teach manuscript much in 1st grade, and they keep piling stuff on the "must be taught" pile! Now, in our district, we are responsible for teaching students how to type and how to perform tasks that were once the purview of office workers and professional adults - in 3rd grade - and with 5 (hopefully all working) computers in the classroom. I am actually a supporter of cursive writing - for me, it's faster and easier than print. I've been told that I'll teach it "after the test" in the spring.
     
  16. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I guess I have to give kudos to this young lady that she is, at least, trying to get her education. Many teenagers, having been retained a couple of times due the inability to pass state tests, quit as soon as they are able.
     
  17. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I'm not convinced she's the most reliable 'witness',:2cents:
     
  18. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    Lots of judgment going on here. Have we taken into consideration the fact that English is her THIRD language?
     
  19. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Has she asked for a translator?
     
  20. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    By the way, I am really trying to avoid responding to comments here at A to Z which elicit feelings of frustration or annoyance. Just putting that out there. ;)
     
  21. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    I believe she asked for one to read the letter, but West did so instead. I haven't been following closely enough to answer that question with 100% certainty, though.
     
  22. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    There's that - and cursive varies not only over time (most of us slog rather slowly through eighteenth-century cursive styles, and even nineteenth-century hands are challenging) but rather remarkably by place: I think there's a different national cursive style for every nation in Europe, and it wouldn't surprise me to find a history of variation by region within nations as well.
     
  23. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    It was reported that she said she grew up in Haiti and French and Spanish were her first languages. But, it was also said that she met Treyvon in elementary school in Miami. So, I don't know that I'd call English her third language. There are an astonishing number of different languages spoken in homes of South Florida students. Honestly, I didn't feel too sorry for her.
     
  24. TeachOn

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    Her other language are - what? - ebonics and French/Haitian, I think I read. Is that right?

    For what it's worth, quite a few high school students in my hoity-toity, lily white community also struggle with cursive. It make me a little sad, fond as I am of all things archaic, but as goeth the beaver top hat, so goeth all.
     
  25. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Like JustMe mentioned--cursive is not addressed in Common Core!

    However, with our current CA Standards, cursive writing is taught in 3rd grade. I actually start teaching my 2nd graders cursive in late April (after CA State testing). I've been told that my district will continue to teach cursive in 3rd grade (even after full implementation of CC).
     
  26. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    With everything else on my plate as far as curriculum goes there are a lot of other things I would want to teach my students before I started worrying about cursive. I'm okay with it becoming a thing of the past- but I think kids should at learn to sign their names in cursive. That they should be able to pick up pretty easily.
     
  27. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I've never taught cursive and as far as I know neither has anyone at either of my two schools. With everything else that's being pushed down to younger grades I feel like it's not something we can spend time on. It's practically an obsolete skill already and I think will be even more obsolete by the time these kids are older. While practically everyone I know in the generation before mine writes in cursive, I can't think of a single person my age who does. It will occasionally come up now if a kid can't read a letter from grandma or something like that- but in the future I think even that will be a thing of the past. I haven't used it since required to in elementary school (for me, it was MUCH slower than print). As far as signatures, people can form those letters however they choose anyway, so that's not really a factor.

    I think it would be a great thing to teach in school as part of an enrichment for kids who are already on grade level in writing, especially for schools that do the intervention blocks where every student gets some kind of intervention. As far as needing to be taught though, I'm not convinced.
     
  28. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    She said on the stand that her first languages were Creole and Spanish. Her mother is Haitian and her father is Dominican. She herself was born and raised in Miami.
     
  29. TeachOn

    TeachOn Habitué

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    Thank you. Perhaps then she ought to have had a translator, as did a subsequent witness. Frankly, her obvious deficiencies in intellect, emotional maturity, and moral insight would probably render such assistance futile. I regret doing such violence to pc politesse, I suppose, but a man's fate hangs in the balance, after all, so we must be honest.

    And yes, I am aware that Trayvon's fate is utterly sealed, but whether George bears any legal or moral responsibility for that fact remains undetermined, he being, except in the minds of certain breathless progbots in media and blogosphere, innocent until proven guilty.
     
  30. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Cursive is a standard in the Common Core.
     
  31. JustMe

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    Oh, I was very much under the impression it was not a Common Core requirement. When is this standard addressed? [Grade level, I mean.]
     
  32. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    It is a 3rd and 4th grade language standard.
     
  33. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    CCSS hasn't been adopted long enough to have hindered this witness's lack of ability to read/produce cursive.
     
  34. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Oh, I wasn't even thinking that.
     
  35. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    I tend to agree with this. My cursive still looks like a fourth grader's because I really haven't used it at all since upper elementary.

    HOWEVER, I use my typing skills every single day. I really do agree that there needs to be MUCH more emphasis placed on kids learning to type. I was fortunate to attend an elementary school in the 90s that taught us how to type. That is one of the most important skills I learned in elementary school. It has made every single thing I've done since so much easier, especially college and graduate school.

    Teaching to read cursive would take much less time than teaching to write it. I just don't know how 3rd grade teachers have time for it (that's when it's taught in CA). Cursive is a reason I'm not sure I would ever want to teach 3rd grade - I really don't want to teach it!
     
  36. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I agree. Cursive to me is out dated.
     
  37. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Would you or someone else link the Common Core standard which relates to cursive in third and fourth grade? I keep missing it. Especially since I didn't think it was addressed under CC :blush:, I want to read it entirely.

    Thank you!
     
  38. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Not specifically addressed. I write curriculum for my district...we added it in.
     
  39. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I'm sorry, I was wrong, as it stands right now, it is an added standard for California.

    I suspect it will be removed.
     
  40. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I would be sad to see cursive not being taught and eventually forgotten. I don´t think it is outdated. I have written in cursive since I first learned it in the third grade.
     
  41. Ms. I

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    Interesting topic, but, in this world of emailing, texting, & typing, I can see how cursive is on its way out unfortunately. I personally don't handwrite that much honestly.

    Speaking of this topic, my young, 70 something yr old mother knows shorthand, which she took in high school or college...don't rememeber which. That's practically like learning to write in another language. She's had mostly secretarial jobs her whole life (& has been real estate agent), so in her prime, shorthand was very beneficial to have. In her later yrs of clerical/admin secretary jobs, she's told me how so many of her bosses have been so very, very intrigued that she wrote in shorthand because no one did it anymore.

    I had no idea this was happening because I'm not a general ed teacher. It's pretty sad.
     
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