Editor’s note: The Christian Review will occasionally publish long form essays, such as this, when the subject matter and its treatment merit the space.
Whole Foods, the grocery chain noted for its organic and natural food offerings, recently ordered one of its ice cream vendors to change the cursive script on its label to print or block lettering. The reasons the chain’s buyer gave: “Millennials can’t read cursive.”(1)
Curious about this report, I asked my 31-year-old Millennial son about his handwriting skills or lack thereof. He was taught and used cursive or longhand into middle school, but once he entered high school, he said, “The teachers didn’t really care about it anymore because we mostly used computers and had to keyboard.”
cursive (adj.) from French cursif (1784), from Medieval Latin cursivus “running,” from Latin cursus, “a running,” from past participle of currere “to run.” The notion is of “written with a running hand” (without raising the pen).
When I first typed the word “cursive” into my Google search engine, a list of 12,400,000 entries popped up in .45 seconds, many of which were articles and op-eds of mixed merit, defending or defaming either cursive or keyboarding.
Undisputed by everyone is that the teaching of cursive in American elementary schools has largely been displaced by printing and keyboarding—all this apparently flowing from the computer revolution which came to dominate American education by the early 1990s.(2)
Terms of the Quarrel
On the surface, the popular discussion and debate about cursive is between those we can loosely call Techies and Luddites, keeping in mind the connotations—fair and unfair—attached to each label.
The Techies rightly argue that the computer keyboard is here to stay, but assert it’s time to consign cursive to the dustbin of curricula as an outmoded and unnecessary skill.
One hard-to-quarrel-with example of keyboard superiority is the replacement of scribbled or scrawled, easy-to-misread doctors’ prescriptions with those spit out by tiny printers in a physician’s office or transmitted directly and electronically to a pharmacy. Where prescription medicines are concerned, the legibility of keyboard-produced letters can prevent mistakes and save lives. No one would want otherwise.
Other “arguments,” sometimes breathlessly expressed, are actually appeals to what I regard as a romanticized view of the digital present and future: “The old pen-and-paper ways of learning must make way for the new digital generation.” “Is handwriting, particularly cursive, really necessary in the digital age?” (The predictable answer is No.)
Morgan Polikoff, an assistant professor in the Rossier School Education at the University of Southern California, urged as part of a 2013 New York Times editorial debate on the matter that “As we have done with the abacus and the slide rule, it is time to retire the teaching of cursive.” Asserting the inevitability of cursive’s disappearance, he boldly declares: “The writing is on the wall.”(3)
Readers of the Bible will certainly recognize the oddity of Polikoff’s allusion to the book of Daniel 5:5, where “the fingers of a man’s hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace,” communicating God’s mysterious message to King Belshazzar in handwriting.
Opposing the Techies are the Luddites, who may be regarded as more backward or historically focused, depending on your viewpoint. Many Luddites express nostalgia for the lost intimacy of the handwritten letter or note. They also want to retain cursive not only for its aesthetic value, but also for its importance for reading materials of familial, historical, and cultural value.(4) (By the way, grandparents, don’t assume your grandchildren can read the cards and notes you write in cursive.)
Biographer and archivist Judith Thurman argued in a 2012 blog for The New Yorker that while a “knowledge of cursive may not be ‘relevant’ to the modern world . . . it is essential to a visceral sense of the past, and an ability to examine the literature, correspondence, and history contained in original documents.”(5)
In regard to history, for those who have grown-up cursive-free in an Internet culture of texts, tweets, and email, it’s relatively easy to see what can be lost through our ignorance of the longhand past—and not just the distant past. Here’s an illustration from the recent past regarding World War II, which ended 70 years ago at this writing. In a PBS report on “Communications: Letters and Diaries” during World War II, the late American author and WWII veteran Paul Fussell emphasized that mail from home was “indispensable” as a “motivator of the troops. Mail call whenever it happened . . . was a delight.”
The same report also describes the essential integration of these handwritten letters with technology in getting the mail to the front—something that suggests we should probably not consider cursive or keyboarding as a one-or-the-other choice.
This WWII hybrid system was called V-mail for “Victory-mail.” People wrote on a one-sided page which was then funneled through Washington D.C. government censors, photocopied onto 16mm microfilm reels, each holding thousands of missives, and flown overseas with other much needed supplies and materiel; there letters were printed out, put in envelopes, and delivered to the troops.
Returning mail used the same process, with officers serving as censors. From June 1942 through November 1945, civilians sent a staggering 556 million letters overseas to their loved ones in service, who in turn sent about 510 million letters back.(6)
Anyone who knows cursive can read the surviving wartime letters of their grandparents or great-grandparents for insights into this era, as well as any other documents written in longhand that may still be squirreled away in closets, attics, and basements, just waiting to be heard. What a shame if those voices, memories, and histories are lost for lack of cursive readers or translators.
Another point Luddites can make is that hand-composed documents have not entirely disappeared from modern life. The FBI is certainly aware of this reality, having a professional concern with documents of all kinds. The FBI’s “Questioned Documents Unit” in Quantico, Va., analyzes, in addition to such things as plastic bags, shoe and tire prints, hard copy documents, including those typed, word-processed, and handwritten (print and cursive) for forensic purposes.(7)
A weaker argument for cursive’s retention is that writing in longhand reflects a person’s individuality, personality, and even character —an understanding of handwriting peculiar to the late 20th century and our 21st century. This claim, perhaps not surprisingly, is treated with some skepticism by the CIA, which cedes that while graphology—the study of handwriting as indicative of personality, character, or abilities—may be an art, it is not a science.(8)
Apple founder Steve Jobs would likely have agreed with the CIA. According to reporter Tim Appelo, Jobs’ study of calligraphy at Reed College in Oregon under the tutelage of former Trappist monk Robert Palladino led to Jobs’ appreciation of type fonts as “beautiful, historical, [and] artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture.”(9)
We now take for granted the multiple fonts and proportional typefaces Jobs was the first to introduce to personal computers. Ironically, now-standard and custom script fonts, some available for free online, will be unreadable to non-cursive, keyboard writers of the present and future.
Finally, I discovered a third group in the debate who argue that kids should learn to print and then move directly to keyboarding, skipping longhand altogether. Their weakest arguments, like those of the Luddites, are often based on graphology and forensics: “All writing, not just cursive, is individual. . . . That is why . . . any first-grade teacher can immediately identify (from print-writing on unsigned work) which student produced it.”(10)
These educators unsurprisingly view printing as a natural precursor to keyboarding, as do some Techies, and rightly state that children who print are using fine motor skills. However, this argument fails to address how motor skills relate to the different language centers in the brain as learning occurs.
One of their more complex and interesting claims is that “children can be taught to read writing that they are not taught to produce. Reading cursive can be taught in just 30 to 60 minutes — even to five or six-year-olds, once they read ordinary print.”(11) This assertion is a fact, something I’ll address elsewhere, but it neglects the question of how screen reading and writing affect comprehension, retention, and higher-order thinking skills, something we’ll get to in a moment.
The go-directly-from print-to-keyboard-without-stopping-at-cursive crowd may dismay those of us who want to preserve cursive instruction from grades 1 and 2 through the beginning of middle school. But those of the cursive persuasion must realize that most of the American educational establishment has in theory and in fact embraced computerized learning, along with computerized assessments and testing. We should cede this third group some respect and make common cause with them if possible.
Here’s an example of something already upon us: Common Core language arts assessments mandated online computerized-keyboard testing of third grade writing skills, beginning this spring, 2015. (Whether or not schools have the technology or funds to comply with these requirements is a separate issue.)
In response, according to Lyndsey Layton of The Washington Post, as early as 2011 “Educators around the country” began “rushing to teach typing to children who [had] barely mastered printing by hand.” We’re talking about kids in grades K-3, many whose small hands ache “after 15 minutes” of keyboard instruction. Layton also reports the obvious: Youngsters may be masters of swiping and using a mouse, but there are serious questions whether third-graders are cognitively developed enough to do the keyboard writing required by Common Core.
Layton quotes Laura Slover, “who heads one of two consortia that are designing the tests,” saying that in the tests, children “will read a nonfiction selection and a literary passage and write about each, and they will be asked to write a story based on a real or imaginary experience.”(12 )
The kind of third-grade writing required by Common Core, however, has a chorus of critics who rightly point out among other problems, it requires highly-developed skills, such as the ability to form paragraphs, that 9-year-olds simply don’t yet possess.
Higher-Order Thinking Skills
At this point, it’s important for two reasons to step back and understand what educators mean by “higher-order thinking skills”: 1) this term appears throughout almost all the serious literature and studies on keyboarding and cursive; and 2) the question is whether children who learn to print and keyboard without learning cursive can successfully develop these higher level thinking skills.
Current understandings of higher-order thinking skills are widely derived from “Bloom’s Taxonomy,” an influential system created in 1956 by educational psychologist Dr. Benjamin Bloom that classifies kinds of intellectual activity.
Bloom’s category of “cognitive” learning is of primary interest to reading, writing, and communication educators and tutors, such as myself. In the original taxonomy (whose vocabulary has been updated), cognitive learning includes six kinds of thinking: knowledge, comprehension, application, with the next three—analysis, synthesis, and evaluation—built upon and integrated with the first three. These latter three are associated with “critical” and “creative” thinking (13) and are related to what are often called “problem-solving” skills.
As a writer, editor, college composition instructor, and writing tutor with thirty years of experience under my belt, I can tell you that analysis, synthesis, and evaluation are the most essential and important thinking skills for advanced reading, writing, and communication.
I can also testify to the fact that for years, scores of students have been washing up on the shores of higher education without these skills, let alone with any knowledge of grammar or of the writing process itself, and hence upon arrival, they are unable to construct a coherent paragraph, let alone a basic five-paragraph essay.
These difficulties and challenges have their roots in early education; and as I hope to show, whether or not youngsters learn cursive actually does matter in acquiring higher-level thinking skills when it comes to graduating from high school, and being college and job ready—three goals of the new Common Core standards.
How far today’s students are from those goals is evidenced by the 2015 SAT scores, the lowest in a decade, with only 42% of all takers ready for college or the job market. ACT high school test-takers performed no better this year, with only 40% prepared for higher education or for entry into an information-data, tech-driven work-force.(14)
So it’s important to look behind all the “ink that’s been spilt” (yes, someday this may be an outmoded expression, but I’m betting long on its return) for the more serious studies and concerns behind the popular debate over cursive and keyboarding in education. In doing so, I found myself falling down a rabbit hole of research, most culled from online databases.
I discovered what cognitive behavioral studies and recent neuroscience, including MRIs, tell us about how we learn. I reviewed lesson plans that jettison pen and paper for teaching keyboarding and other computer literacy skills as essential for U.S. students to compete successfully in a world of global high-tech economies.
Anecdotal columns by teachers as well as formal studies by occupational therapists and specialists in learning disabilities enumerate the relative benefits of cursive or keyboarding for learning disabled and dyslexic students. I looked at how changes in the culture, deficits in teacher training, the computer revolution, and more recently how No Child Left Behind and the newer Common Cores standards are driving handwriting out of the primary school curriculum.
A Brief History of U.S. Penmanship
What I discovered is that the story of cursive—its disappearance from our classrooms and the reasons for retaining it in a culture dominated by digital screens and the Internet—is a complex one.
This complexity is hinted at by the establishment in 1977 of National Handwriting Day on January 23, the birthday of John Hancock. Hancock, as President of the Continental Congress, was the first to sign the 1776 Declaration of Independence in an ornamental script called Roundhand, giving rise to the American expression, “Put your John Hancock [or “signature”] here.” (For an example of Roundhand, see The New York Yankees’ logo.)
In the United States, before the advent of the typewriter, legible, even elegant penmanship was a necessary skill for the copying of legal and business documents as commerce accelerated in the eighteenth century.(15)
Just recall the description of the trade practiced by the most famous penman in American literature, the protagonist of Herman Melville’s eponymous 1853 short story “Bartleby the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street,” who toils with two other scriveners in a document shop for a prosperous New York City business lawyer.
Besides the trade or professional uses of longhand in the 19th century, a person’s social standing, education, and even sex were conveyed by one’s script (16) —a view of handwriting that reflects a society based more on social roles than on the individual and his or her distinct personality. After the Civil War, as the economy began to flourish and expand, and public education began to take root, American children were taught Spencerian script, today preserved in the original Coca-Cola logo.
Spencerian style longhand was replaced in the 1880s by “The Palmer Method of Business Writing,” which was plainer, easier to learn, and quicker to write, and designed to compete with the encroaching typewriter. The Palmer method was prized for its efficiency—an American obsession—and for its uniform legibility. It was the script taught to the Baby Boomer generation. (Who of us Boomers can forget the various ink pens that in unskilled hands blotched our pages and stained our fingers blue?)
Another twist of the story brings “manuscript” into the picture, by way of Marjorie Wise, a British educator at Columbia’s Teachers College in New York City, who in 1922 introduced and advocated the teaching of printing made up of circles and straight lines—hence the name “ball and stick”—arguing that children could more easily construct letters with such strokes.
Later reversing herself, Ms. Wise became a formal advocate of Italic Handwriting (17), something similar to modern day D’Nealian italic, introduced in 1978 as a bridge script between printing and longhand. Teaching printing before cursive was rapidly adopted by American educators because of its visual relationship to print or “bookface” type.
However, according to educator and cursive advocate, Samuel L. Blumenfeld, before this development students moved directly from writing in cursive to reading in print. By the 1940s, he reports, most American kids were printing before learning cursive so that they could simultaneously write and read the new “look-say” or whole language “Dick and Jane” readers, which presented some readers the difficulty of distinguishing between “reversible letters” such as b/d, f/t, and g/q/p. (18)
Not a dyslexic, I nonetheless remember a seemingly endless struggle with the reversible letter combination “f/t” when learning to read print. Just think about the words “Spot” and “fast.” Is it Spot runs fast or Spof runs tasf?
Are All Keyboards Equal?
The mechanical keyboard arrived with the invention of the typewriter, and the modern QWERTY typewriter entered the American market in 1874. Typewriters didn’t begin to replace penmanship in business until the mid-1920s, by which time women had emerged as professional typists-stenographers-secretaries and teaching typing by “touch” had become the norm. (19)
I remember well the typing course I took in the Southern California public high school I attended in the late 1960s, where while attending to our posture we pounded away, drill after drill, learning the keyboard by touch so as to avoid two-finger hunt-and-peck typing.
In the junior and senior years of my college prep track, we were not only expected to type our final papers, but we had to master now-arcane and forgotten rules of margins and line spacing to insert any necessary footnotes at the bottom of each page of a research paper. Otherwise, typewriters were never a part of my elementary or high school classrooms, nor were they ever adopted nationwide as such.
Through research serendipity, I came across a few articles that documented the methods and results of studies on typewriters in the classroom. From a 1996 article by a Prof. James Kalmbach, I learned that in the 1920s and 1930s progressive educators concerned with child-centered learning and with democratic social justice leanings experimented first with letter presses, and then with typewriters to discern their effects on literacy and learning in elementary classrooms.
An association of four manufacturers called the Typewriter Educational Research Bureau funded a no-strings-attached study created by University of Chicago’s Frank Freeman and Ben Wood of Columbia University, and also provided the typewriters. (20) The study involved nearly 15,000 students from grades three to six (21) and compared classrooms with typewriters and 180 “experimental teachers” to classrooms without the machines, with 239 “control” teachers.
Kalmbach reports that standardized tests “by quantitative measures” indicated typewriters had “little effect on achievement.” The qualitative outcomes, however, in Kalmbach’s judgment from the perspective of the 1990s, were ultimately more revealing, since Wood and Freeman “claimed to have analyzed over 578,000 pieces of writing.” (22) The outcomes were almost entirely positive: typewriting produced deeper student engagement, improved spelling, punctuation, and reading and writing skills, as well as production of more text. (23)
How are these typewriting studies of the last century relevant to the cursive/keyboarding debate? The answers to this question point to the more serious matters we’ll take up later about how human beings actually learn to read and write.
But for now, it’s enough to note that 1) learning to type involves touch or kinetic learning; and 2) and the act of writing by typewriter—something most college educated Baby Boomers were taught— which uses the hands and keyboard as the technology to impress words and sentences upon a paper surface, also requires higher-thinking level skills demanded by composition, in which the writer employs idea creation, organization, construction of arguments, concerns of genre and style, and so forth.
Again, to restate the question: What we need to know is whether visual-keyboard writing—without fluent manuscript or cursive skills taught early on—develops the language and higher-level thinking skills necessary for sophisticated writing and communication. Defenders and many researchers of cursive say Not so.
Because these typewriting studies, and others in the 1940s and 50s were conducted in an era when cursive was always taught, none of them can tell us anything about the potential benefits or drawbacks of the exclusive use of either cursive or keyboarding. While computers have become ubiquitous across the country in the classrooms of schools and school districts able to afford them, little research on whether keyboarding alone is a successful pedagogy for teaching children to write has actually been done.
Saying Goodbye to Cursive
So when did the teaching of cursive begin to disappear from American classrooms?
A widely-cited 2010 “Information Capsule” from the Miami-Dade County Public Schools, reports that the daily teaching of penmanship, generally beginning in the first grade and continuing through the sixth, persisted in U.S. classrooms until the early 1970s.
Courses for educators in how to teach handwriting were replaced by courses in “inclusion, technology, diversity, and special needs students.” (23) To this list, I would add the obligations of teaching other multiple “eds”: sex-ed, drug-ed, bilingual-ed, character and self-esteem ed, and more recently gender-ed (Heather Has Two Mommies, 1989) and anti-bullying ed.
As we all know, the effects of social disruption and upheaval inevitably overflow into the classroom. As a society, I’d hazard to say that we have de facto insisted that elementary and secondary school teachers take up the slack, as if they were social workers, and deal with the tumultuous changes, originating in the 1950s, 60s, and especially the 70s, that affected and altered family life, the lives of our children, and the curricula of the schools in which they have been and are being taught.
A first major, necessary and just social change was desegregation. I believe most Americans today regard the 1954 Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka that formally abolished race-based separate but equal school systems to have been a first step required to redress racial injustice. Nonetheless, we all know what disturbances followed upon it.
Regarding this, I came across a document that summarized interviews conducted in 1967 with students, teachers, and administrators who lived through school desegregation. It reported positive experiences of school integration; it also included accounts of disruption, of which forced busing was only one, within the classrooms of public school systems and communities black and white. (25) The Civil Rights movement itself, with its non-violent civil disobedience, ultimately brought about the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964, but not without its participants facing resistance, confrontation, violence, and even death. And no one should forget the murders of the four African American schoolgirls by a bomb blast before a church service in September 1963 in Birmingham, Alabama.
The 1960s, which saw developing opposition to the war in Vietnam, were also years marked by race riots with looting, destruction of property and deaths. I remember my parents voicing their fears as they listened to the news in August, 1965, when they feared that the Watts, Los Angeles, riot with 34 deaths, would somehow spill over into our peaceful San Gabriel suburb.
Two other major riots occurred in July 1967—Detroit with 43 deaths, and Newark with 24. The assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was also followed by destructive riots in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Chicago and Kansas City. Omitted here are other riots and racial disturbances that occurred across the U.S. during this era.
I note these events (without addressing the effects of federal social welfare programs instituted in 1965) because they indicate the severity of social problems that persist to this day in what we now call “inner” cities—a euphemism for the older terms “ghetto” and “slum”—and which affect largely minority-populated public schools. My daughter-in-law tells hair-raising tales of teaching—or attempting to teach—when at the beginning of her career not so long ago, she spent two years in Harlem, New York City, public elementary schools. Most of her students came from single- or no-parent homes, many of which were afflicted with persistent and pervasive poverty, often coupled with drug and alcohol problems. Among her students, she faced daily fights, emotional and behavioral acting out, and a gun threat on her life; all this was in addition to having no books or other teaching materials, and no administrative support.
Daniel Patrick Moynihan, in his 1965 landmark report on “The Negro Family: The Case for National Action” (26) —now commonly and famously known as The Moynihan Report—anticipated social problems beyond his own era when he tied the fragility of the African American family to its destruction under American slavery. The results: absent fathers, households headed primarily by mothers, poor educational achievement, high drop-out rates, unemployment, chronic poverty and “aberrant, inadequate, or antisocial behavior.”
The 1960s and 1970s also brought the pill, synonymous with the sexual and feminist revolutions and their immediate off-spring: no-fault divorce (first legalized in 1970 by then Gov. Ronald Reagan of California) and legalized abortion in 1973.
In quick order have followed broken and blended families, high illegitimate birth rates, single parents often raising children in poverty, and today, co-habiting and same-sex couples who often also have families.
The serious lesson here is that the destructive social changes of the second half of the 20th century and their attendant “pathologies,” as Moynihan called them, continue to afflict not only poor African American families, but also now apply in lesser to greater degrees to almost all Americans regardless of race or ethnicity, social strata or residence in urban, suburban and rural locales. Behind the deficits and failures of education in our recent history is the weakening and general collapse of the traditional family in the country at large.
In short, given all these changes, it was inevitable that something in the classroom would have to give. And give it did. “It” in this essay is “cursive”—although all of us could probably add innumerable items to our various “it” lists, so serious is the collapse of the elementary and secondary educational system in the United States.
* * * *
In upcoming articles on cursive, I’ll be looking at the impact on cursive instruction from No Child Left Behind and the newly adopted Common Core standards. I’ll also explore pushback from parents, teachers, states, and private, parochial, and charter schools to discover who and what institutions are fighting to retain cursive. I’ll also explore recent cognitive neuroscience and behavioral psychology, along with anecdotal evidence, that shows how teaching cursive is important for both reading comprehension and for the development of advanced or “higher-order” thinking and writing skills.
1. Annie Gasparro and Leslie Josephs. “Whole Foods Calls the Shots for Startups: Companies tweak ingredients, labels to win retailer’s blessing.” The Wall Street Journal, May 6, 2015. Available at http://www.wsj.com/articles/whole-foods-calls-the-shots-for-startups-1430904782.
2. “History, the History of Computers, and the History of Computers in Education.” Available at http://web.csulb.edu/~murdock/histofcs.html.
3. Morgan Polikoff. “Let Cursive Die.” The Opinion Pages, Room for Debate: Is Cursive Dead? The New York Times, May 1, 2013. Available at http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/04/30/should-schools-require-children-to-learn-cursive/let-cursive-handwriting-die.
Jimmy Bryant. “Cursive Handwriting Is a Cultural Tradition Worth Preserving.” 4. The New York Times, April 30, 2013. Available at www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/04/30/cursive-handwriting-is-a-cultural-tradition-worth-preserving.
5. Judith Thurman. “In Defense of Cursive.” The New Yorker, July 5, 2012. Available at http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/in-defense-of-cursive.
6. Ken Burns and Lynn Novack, directors. “Communications: Letters and Diaries.” The War. Online materials available at https://www.pbs.org/thewar/at_home_communication_letters_diaries.htm.
7. Federal Bureau of Investigation. “Getting Physical: Our Hardcopy Forensic Experts.” Stories, April 2009. Available at https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2009/april.
8. Central Intelligence Agency. “The Assessment of Graphology.” Library: Center for the Study of Intelligence, Sept. 23, 1993. Available at https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence.
9. Tim Appelo. “How a Calligraphy Pen Rewrote Steve Jobs’ Life.” The Hollywood Reporter, October 14, 2011. Available at www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/steve-jobs-death-apple-calligraphy.
10. Kate Gladstone. “Handwriting Matters; Cursive Doesn’t.” The New York Times. April 30, 2013. Available at www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/04/30/handwriting-matters-cursive-doesnt.
11. Kate Gladstone. April 30, 2013.
12. Lyndsey Layton. “Elementary school children learn keyboard typing ahead of new Common Core tests.” The Washtington Post, October 13, 2013. Available at www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/elementary-students-learn-keyboard-typing-ahead-of-new-common-core-tests/2013.
13. Patricia Armstrong. Bloom’s Taxonomy. Center for Teaching, Vanderbilt University. Available at http://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/blooms-taxonomy/.
14. Kaitlin Mulhere. “Here’s the SAT Score You Need to Beat.” College Planner. Money. Sept. 3, 2015. Available at time.com/money/4017881/average-sat-scores-2015.
15. Jane Rodgers Siegel. Teaching of Handwriting – The Eighteenth Century, The Nineteenth Century, The Twentieth Century, Manuscript Writing and Other Systems. Available at http://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/2027/Handwriting-Teaching.html.
16. Jennie Cohen. “A Brief History of Penmanship on National Handwriting Day.” January 23, 2012. History. Available at www.history.com/news/a-brief-history-of-penmanship-on-national-handwriting-day.
17. Kitty Burns Florey. “Does Handwriting Still Matter in a Digital World?” TheHuffingtonPost.com. Nov. 27, 2013. Available at www.huffingtonpost.com/kitty-burns-florey/handwriting-book.
18. Samuel L. Blumenfeld. How Should We Teach Our Children to Write? Cursive First, Print Later! See http://donpotter.net/PDF/cursive-first.pdf.
19. “The Typewriter: an informal history.” IBM Archives, August 1977. Available at www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits.
20. James Kalmbach. “From Liquid Paper to Typewriters: Some Historical Perspective on Technology in the Classroom.” Computers and Composition 13.57-68 (1996).
21. Thomas A. Sinks and J.F. Thurston. “Effect of Typing in Elementary School Grades.” Educational Readership Supplement. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, NEA. January 1972. Available in www.ascd.org/ASCD/pdf/journals/ed_lead/el_197201_sinks.pdf.
22. James Kalmbach. 1996.
23. Bertis E. Capehart and Margaret McNish. “The Typewriter as an Instructional Tool . . . What Research Says.” The National Elementary School Principal 38:1959 (23-26).
24. Christie Blazer. “Should Cursive Handwriting Still Be Taught in Schools?” Information Capsule: Research Services, Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Vol. 0916, March 2010. Available at http://drs.dadeschools.net/InformationCapsules/IC0916.pdf.
25. Lawrence E. Vredevoe. “The Effects of Desegregation upon School Discipline.” Journal of Secondary Education, 42:2, Feb. 1967. Available at http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED018453.pdf.
26. Daniel Patrick Moynihan. The Negro Family: The Case for National Action. United States Department of Labor: Office of Policy Planning and Research. March 1965. Available at http://web.stanford.edu/~mrosenfe/Moynihan%27s The Negro Family.pdf.