I am an elementary school teacher of the fourth grade. In times past, students would start learning cursive handwriting in third grade and by fourth should be transitioning to writing in cursive at all times.
As you might be aware, this has all but been taken out of the curriculum. It is still approved for teaching, but there is zero time devoted to it in our daily curriculum. This means I can snatch a moment here and there to teach a few cursive letters, but there is no systematic training anymore.
The practical result of that is that not only can students not write in cursive, but they can't read it either! So, I now use manuscript writing on the board.
I can't afford to have a professional opinion on this because the curriculum is the curriculum. I don't get to choose it, I just teach it. I understand in some ways the argument that as everything goes digital, cursive handwriting won't be a necessity anymore.
But, the loss of knowledge bothers me. I have a bulletin board in my class with copies of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence and not one student can read them!
Not only that, but handwriting is such a personalized thing. Nobody else's handwriting is just like yours. That's the reason that signatures are so powerful and can provide proof on important documents.
What do you think? Is it worth fighting against the tide? Should I be more forward looking and try to eek out more time for keyboarding practice instead? I would love to hear your opinions!
PS On a related note, so many 9 year olds cannot read an analog clock, either! They will literally ask me what time it is and I just point to the clock. Then they sneak up to my computer to read the digital time in the corner of my screen! And telling time on an analog clock is still in the curriculum!