From Babel to Babbling to Building... How the Development of Common Core Standards without Handwriting Skills will handicap the coming generations
A Common Language, a Common Tongue, a Common Goal. United, these post diluvium people came together with the goal of building a city with a tower that could reach to heaven. Like our predecessors, we too want to build our communities, and aspirations which can reach unto the heavens. America is a Capitalist Republic, not a Democracy, which is focused on wealth building, not personhood. From it’s origins as an agrarian state, wealth land owners needed physical laborers to clear land, cultivate the ground and bring forth a profit. In Layman’s Terms, if you know how the game is played, it can offer you the best chance for success. One must have a plan to build, to have a return on one’s investment, or all can be lost. Like rotten fruit on the vine.
Ignorance was a mighty weapon used to keep the indentured and slavery class of people in their place. The Christian Bible and its tenets were often used to shape and mold these workers of that society. By purposeful neglect, the servant and the slave alike were not taught the skills of reading and writing. Deemed as critical for maintaining the afforded livelihood of the Planter class, Prohibitions were enforced thru Lynching, Branding, Peonage, and Whippings. Regardless of the race, creed or even sex of an individual, having the ability to read and write, even in today’s marketplace is all but necessary in order to obtain and maintain employment.
Such hard fought personal and legal battles for Individual and Civil Liberties, the Right to Vote, even the right to work is secured by written documents. More often perfumed by even loftier goals, Inalienable rights, which are given by the Creator of Heaven and Earth. The Story of the Tower of Babel teaches us that timing is everything. That a people who are family, forged together thru death and struggle, can come together, build a city, and a tower which could reach unto heaven. Together, if they imagined a thing, it would not be kept from them. Yet it was not time for that to occur, so the Creator scattered and confused their languages, so they would not understand one another. Let’s examine these building blocks, and see how it correlates to handwriting and cursive, and a movement to stop teaching preschoolers from learning the foundation of Penmanship.
Here are some of the key phases I gleamed from verses 3 and 4.
Phonetic Spelling and Sound
- Brick – leb-ay-naw'
- Build - Defined as to be white: law-ban'
- To Burn Saraf – saw-raf'
- Thoroughly - ser-ay-faw'
- Cement - khaw-mar'
- Mix of confuse baw-lal'
- To Scatter and confuse baw-bel'
These terms represent the building blocks for ascertaining greatness as a people. And while the story is a retelling of God/Jehovah confusing their languages and scattering the people across the globe, they were all children of the same family. The descendants of the three sons of Noah. From the river called Gentile. Unique to the undertow of the tale, is this: The power of their common language, heritage and mindset. Their collective nature was so powerful, that nothing would be impossible for them, as a people. So God scattered them, and confused their tongues.
The story of the Tower of Babel, where we get the root word for “To Babble”, is known throughout diverse cultures. Its root in the Hebrew is phonetically spelled, Law-ban, to build. Some would say the foundational building blocks of a society are it’s writing and teaching. That which was passed down from generation to generation. Men have employed a variety of methods in which to preserve the histories, fables, and legacies of the past. Bricks to build a better world, based on the experiences of others, so as not to make the same mistakes over and over again. Isn’t it a tab bit disconcerting that Babylon still appears to be the center of our inability to communicate to one another without killing each other? In a land where the cuneiform script, baked into bricks of Clay, gave us the Epic of Gilgamesh; a creation story which was written in cuneiform script. Even the Hammurabi Code which is the basis for today’s legal code system.
The Archiving of Human History has migrated from Verbal (Oral) histories, passed on from one village elder or family member to another. to Parchment to Stone, and now to Digital Archives. Recently, I discovered that many of the States have decided that the Skill of Handwriting is not necessary for early education of children. What in the Hell!
Across the United States, recent stories such as the one written in USA Today referring to the absence of Cursive writing skills being left out of the Common Core Standards. That means that schools will not be required to teach our children how to write in print or cursive. Approximately 41 states have left the requirement out or their Common Core Curricula requirements. Which is the focus of this blog if you can not only read it, but ascertain it's deeper meaning. My reasoning for adding the Matthew Strong’s Exhausted Concordance Commentary Numbers and recantation in Hebrew, is because you must understand the root meaning of certain words to understand the Author’s intended meaning of the text.
The skill of handwriting is also referred to as a "Graphomotor" skill and includes visual-perceptual, orthographic coding, motor planning and execution, kinesthetic feedback and visual-motor coordination. Hand writing is simply defined as ( Physiology) of or relating to the muscular movements used or required in writing. It is complex in nature, yet it provides the student with the ability to express one’s self.
The basis of elementary learning is not simply the ability to speak, but it’s also the need to read and write legibly. It seems quite short sighted for the creators of the Common Core Standards to not understand the fallibility of a system of education which doesn’t teach it’s earliest learners the need for the printing and cursive writing skills. It would be a false assumption that all you need is a keyboard or proper grammar in order to be successful. Comparatively, thinking that you can simply give a person who has poor keyboarding skills, a headset and a speech recognition program in order to help them get their “Point” across. Cognition and transference of meaning does require a plethora of skill sets, which assist in the evaluation that learning has occurred. One cannot simply download or listen to an audio rendering, or Clift notes version of a course or book such as a Charles Dickens novel to get the real meaning. Neither can watching a two hour abridged version of the Epic.
Some of the best learning experiences I have had has been working on a paper, or blog, where I must write what I mean, and mean what I write. The words and letters, have little impact except to the person who wrote them, and to the one who reads and gets the author’s meaning. So, until we can write these concepts into the very DNA of our children, we must write it down and teach our children to do so as well. We must have the ability to be able to transfer thoughts and meanings, even when the power goes off, and the keyboards can no longer function! Maybe the decision makers had bad experiences of having to right 100 times on the board, “I will not misbehave in Class or forget to turn in my homework”! . The Devil is in the Details.
It is my belief that we need standards which do not handicap students, particularly as it relates to cognitive growth, spascial reasoning and intellectual skills. We do not need students who are happy with just making their mark or symbol on a piece of paper, like slaves from the 1860’s. Should we stand ideally by and build a society in which only the privileged elite, trained in the private academies and Catholic schools, have the ability to write in cursive and print? Lurking around, trying to understand what is being presented to them, like a man who can’t count, being short changed, like my Grand Father was, until his youngest son pointed out to him one day. Ignorance has it’s root in not just turning a blind eye to an injustice, but also being fully sighted, but dumb to speak out because you’re not degreed.
It is often said that “Life is a dance!” and a “Song worth singing!” To dance you need the ability to feel, hear, coordination, balance, fearlessness, timing and joy! Music provides the motivation! You can dance by yourself, and with others. Yet the tune and the tone must be recognizable. Training up children without the ability to write, a key educational tenet is evil. Reading has liberated billions from the chords of ignorance and stupidity. To do so is sinful and malignant. It signals a fore tense of great distress and civil unrest. Martin Luther's 95 theses shocked and changed Germany, causing a Lutheran Reformation to occur. Similar to the spoken work, which has the power of Life and Death, the written word can liberate a nation, or condemn it to decay and ignorance. Only the Land Owners and Fathers need to have the ability to read the Bible! Remember that line from the Reformation. Guttenberg’s bible changed the world because it made the printed word available to all at a reasonable price. Since you pay taxes or Mileages to support a public school system, shouldn’t you decide what’s best for your child? My children and their children’s children will have the ability to read, write and keyboard!