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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Cursive! Taught again in California

California students will be taught to write in cursive, reports NPR. A new law signed -- in cursive -- by the governor takes effect in January.

Most U.S. schools haven't required students to learn cursive handwriting since 2010, says host A Martinez.

Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva, a former elementary school teacher, proposed the bill when she started researching her family and realized most of the records were in cursive handwriting.

Teacher Pam Keller told NPR she started teaching handwriting to her students when she realized her adult children couldn't read old documents and family letters. Students like it because they see cursive as "something adults do," she said. "And they all want to have signatures."

California teachers say teaching cursive handwriting shouldn't be a priority, reports Evan Symon in the California Globe. The new mandate faces a "growing backlash."

“Writing in cursive has multiple benefits, including better brain development, retention, and learning in children,” said Quirk-Silva earlier this year, citing new research. “Writing in cursive helps join the auditory and language centers of the brain.”

It also develops fine motor control, "activates areas of the brain that do not participate in keyboarding," and improves comprehension, writes Melissa Breyer. However, some teachers say cursive was dying out for a reason, writes Symon. "There are many, many other ways besides cursive to help students develop," argues Joy, a private school teacher. Students can learn to sign their names "on their own or through a parent or from so many other places.”

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