Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Two “R’s”—Who Needs Cursive?

When I began school people referred to education as the “Three R’s.” Reading, wRiting, and aRrithmetic were the fundamentals that all children needed to learn, and learn well. Now the state of Georgia has taken writing out of the curriculum. Teachers are encouraged to focus on technology instead of teaching children cursive.

Why not just skip arithmetic, or math, too? Students could focus that time on calculators. Why worry about reading or spelling? We have audio books and spell check.

There is no need to teach the big three R’s at all. Focus on texting and students won’t waste hours learning grammar, punctuation, or sentence structure. Why waste precious time teaching them skills they will not need? History, science, and all those other useless classes can be renamed “Google for Dummies.” Teachers can ask questions and students can look them up on the Internet to answer multiple choice answers on their online tests. (Remember, they can’t take written tests because they don’t know how to write.) Instead of sports, why not replace that nonsense with online games?

Hey wait, I have a better idea. Why send kids to school at all? Let them stay at home and learn all they need to know from technology. That face to face time can be replaced with social networking.

What happens twenty years down the road? A new generation will think their parents are really stupid because today’s technology will be antiquated, and talk about useless information. (Does anyone remember Word Perfect, Lotus 1-2-3, Cobol?)

Don’t get me wrong, I think technology has a place in the school system, but it should not replace fundamentals. Technology should enhance a student’s opportunity to learn—not hinder it. Today’s youth have an opportunity unlike any previous generation to learn. They start school practically before they’re out of diapers and have limitless knowledge at their fingertips. Why rob them of educational basics that allow them to grow intellectually using the most complex and intricate database of all—their own brains.

Copyright © Jan 2011, L. S. Fisher


  1. You make some very good points here about the goals of our education system. While our technology might reduce our own need for spelling and syntactical errors, I agree with you that it does indeed boost what we already know. As long as critical thinking is not phased out of the curriculum, people will have the necessary skills to differentiate truth from fiction. That is the trick to making the most out of the internet. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Thank you for your observations and comments on the post. The Internet is not a good learning environment for the gullible, for sure. Besides, teaching children technology is redundant for most of them. My granddaughter could launch her favorite computer games before she could talk.