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Cursive handwriting is back

Posted Date: 08/14/2023

Cursive handwriting is back

For many, the return of mandatory cursive handwriting instruction in the Ontario curriculum, starting in Grade 3, is a welcome and long-overdue move on the part of the Ministry of Education. It is a re-emphasis on direct instruction in foundational skills.

Handwriting is a learned skill and it must be taught through direct, explicit, programmatic, developmentally progressive, consistent and sustained instruction — it will not simply be “caught” incidentally.

It is also not an end in and of itself, but a means to an end. It is not about presentation effects and looking pretty on the page. Rather, it is a powerful tool that affords a child a growing sense of confidence, pride and agency that their thoughts matter.

Here are some considerations about the significance of this announcement, and what will be needed to effectively implement the curricular shift.