In the digital age, should schools teach writing?

CURSIVE writing may run off the page and out classroom doors if Australia adopts Finland's revolutionary change to its education system.

The Scandinavian country stole headlines last week after it announced plans to cut running writing from school curriculums.

Finland's board of education said it was "more relevant to everyday life" for students to learn typing instead.

While there are no plans for Australian school systems to follow suit, Isis District State High School co-principal Brett Kavanagh said both skills were equally important.

"I think there's a place for both (cursive writing and typing)," Mr Kavanagh said.

How do you feel about handwriting being taught in schools?

This poll ended on 13 February 2015.

Current Results

Handwriting, including cursive, is an essential skill


Handwriting is obsolete because of technology


Handwriting is okay, but no one needs cursive any more


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

For Mr Kavanagh it is purely a hypothetical question, given cursive writing is part of the primary education syllabus.

But he did make several interesting observations about the evolution of written communication.

"Even though students use devices a lot more now, touch typing is generally overlooked," Mr Kavanagh said.

"There was a time where we learned to touch type but instead that time is now spent learning skills like Photoshop.

"The art of touch typing has been lost."

Childers State School principal Robyn Philpott said Finland's education system was certainly forward thinking.

"They would need digital devices with them all the time," Mrs Philpott said.

"I know they are very progressive but I can't imagine (a similar plan in Queensland) at this stage."

Mr Kavanagh's assessment was straightforward: regardless of which way they did it, children had to learn to write right and quickly.

When asked if people would generate their own style of cursive writing he agreed, but said typing and writing could co-exist.

Topics:  editors picks education opinion

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