The Value of Cursive Handwriting Today

In many classroom, including elementary classes, digital devices are part of the learning experience. These devices help both teachers and the students, enriching learning through enjoyable tasks and helping students better understand the various topics. Cursive handwriting is also being phrase out in many classrooms as a result. Many elementary students are being told it is no longer mandatory to write in cursive, long-hand script. The student can instead use their electonic devices to take notes and perform some in-class exercises. For instance, elementary students are being taught the write the alphabet and words in these devices only. However, if you are ever able to observe a child using a device you would notice that this idea is not quite wise. And, if that is not enough to convince you, consider the recent studies.

Handwriting and learning in schools

All children must spend their early years developing their motor skills in many ways. Continual access to a devices hampers this development. Recent studies (2020) at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)  suggest that cursive handwriting helps the brain learn and remember better (source). This study observed the brain activity during the task of writing, typing and drawing while the participants were hooked up to a high-density electroencephalogram (HD EEG). Participants in the student were 12 young adults and 12, 12-year-old children.

As a result, it was observed that the “benefits of sensory-motor integration due to the larger involvement of the senses as well as fine and precisely controlled hand movements when writing by hand and when drawing” was vital in a learning environment to facilitate and optimize learning. When it comes to cursive handwiting, it involves many brain systems and the integration of both motor and perceptual skills. We all know that notetaking requires you to listen carefully, have good memory and the ability to write the information down as preciselyy, neatly and legibly as possible. Notes are to be read later and as needed; and a legible notetaker knows its benefits. The earlier a child is able to master a proper cursive handwriting the better it is for the child to succeed academically. This is because it takes years to develop a good handwriting skill.

Some people suggest that today there is little need for handwriting, as electronic devices are used more, especially in businesses. We record everything on computers, we send emails and text to each other. There is certainly hardly any need for handwriting. However, in schools we may be getting a bit too premature to use these electronic devices for everything. Many teachers are seeing the negative impact of the electronic devices. They find students less willing to complete manual task in class or at home. They find students impatient to learn and even strengthen their memory and basic motor skills, especially in drawing, grammar, and spelling. Handwriting is a multitask activity. Handwriting involves fine motor skills, visualization, and listening skills.

Our brain is not as simple as we think it is. Our cognitive abilities must grow each day, and we hardly can encourage that growth through continual use of electonic devices. It is unfortunate that young students were encourage during the covid 19 lockdowns to use more and more of these devices. We are now seeing the fallout of this decision. Perhaps, we can for sure now place the use of electronic devices in their proper light and not rely too much on them when it comes for cognitive development and learning.

Reasons you should learn to write in cursive (at a glance).

  1. You develop your brain and cognitive skills.
  2. You can become a speedy writer
  3. You can impress others
  4. You get acknowledged for your handwriting
  5. You can develop your cognitive skills
  6. You will have a high-quality signature
  7. You can become more creative
  8. You write letters betters
  9. You can earn a living with your skill.
  10. You can read documents written with cursive script easily.
  11. You can learn to write and read better.
  12. You improve your memory and retention.
  13. You help grow your self-confidence.
  14. Practice make many things perfect through cursive writing.


Eva Ose Askvik, F. R. (Ruud) van der Weel and Audrey L. H. van der Meer. “The Importance of Cursive Handwriting Over Typewriting for Learning in the Classroom: A High-Density EEG Study of 12-Year-Old Children and Young Adults.” Frontiers in Psychology (First published: July 28, 2020) DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01810

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