Friday, September 16, 2022

Cursive at Harvard

In The Atlantic, Drew Gilpin Faust says that her students can’t read or write cursive writing:

It was a good book, the student told the 14 others in the undergraduate seminar I was teaching, and it included a number of excellent illustrations, such as photographs of relevant Civil War manuscripts. But, he continued, those weren’t very helpful to him, because of course he couldn’t read cursive.

Had I heard him correctly? Who else can’t read cursive? I asked the class. The answer: about two-thirds. And who can’t write it? Even more.
If the name rings a bell, Faust was the president of Harvard. The scene of instruction in these paragraphs: a Harvard classroom.

Related reading
All OCA handwriting posts (Pinboard)

comments: 2

Anonymous said...

i heard this recently also as cursive is no longer being taught in schools. a former teacher told me that she would write in cursive in the classroom because she knew the students couldn't read it.


Michael Leddy said...

Ooh — like a secret code.

I recall now that as the recording secretary for meetings, I would sometimes struggle to decipher signatures on the sign-in sheet. The only way I could figure out a couple was to read through to the department roster. (It was a large department.) I was never sure if these signatures were evidence of ineptitude or of trolling.