MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

April 6, 2013

Area colleges vary in training for educators

By Wendy Burton
Phoenix Staff Writer

— Local colleges vary in their approach to training future teachers to teach cursive writing.

Bacone College in Muskogee, which offers four-year degrees in early childhood and elementary education, is preparing its future teachers for the digital age, a school official said.

“Reading and writing in upper elementary is where we used to address teaching cursive, and it’s really became a non-topic,” said Sally Nichols-Sharpe, associate professor. “Yes, the old person in me thinks, ‘How are you going to sign documents?’ I guess we’re going to be printing our names.”

Teachers will still be teaching young students how to print, but in the future many may never learn cursive, she said.

“The majority of writing is going to be computer-based in any job you go into,” she said. “There are some things that are hard to give up, but we must understand them and move forward.”

Northeastern State University in Tahlequah also offers four-year degrees in early childhood and elementary education.

NSU teaching students are still taking classes to learn to teach cursive writing, said NSU’s Deborah Landry, dean of the College of Education.

“We do still teach it because we feel it’s important, though we recognize it may not be on Common Core,” Landry said.

However, the future teachers are being encouraged to teach cursive in other ways than 40 minutes of practice at a desk a day.

“For example, we provide suggestions on how to include it as a center activity,” Landry said.

Reach Wendy Burton at (918) 684-2926 or wburton@muskogeephoenix.com.