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Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: Kane maintains innocence; Cursive writing; Vaccinations being encouraged

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Aug 13, 2015 9:40 AM
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Photo by Mary Wilson

What to look for on Smart Talk Thursday, August 13, 2015:

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane says she is innocent of any wrongdoing and blames her current predicament on an attempt to conceal pornographic and racially and religiously offensive emails by members of then Attorney General Tom Corbett's staff.

At Wednesday's press conference Kane spoke publicly for the first time since she was accused last week with leaking secret grand jury information to embarrass a former agent she thought had tried to make her look bad and then lying about it.

Besides saying she broke no laws, Kane didn't address the charges against her.

Allentown Morning Call capitol reporter Steve Esack appears on Thursday's Smart Talk with more on the Kane case.

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Morning Call capitol reporter Steve Esack

Also, learning cursive handwriting in elementary school was once a rite of passage but in many schools today, it is a relic of the past as some schools ignore cursive altogether.

Teachers in the Harrisburg School District are participating in an event staged by Handwriting Without Tears curriculum Friday and Saturday

Handwriting and cursive expert Paula Heinricher joins us on Smart Talk to discuss the importance of cursive writing.

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Finally, Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Karen Murphy explains the Don't Wait! Vaccinate campaign the department is running.

Published in News, Smart Talk

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  • horse2hound4 img 2015-08-13 09:48

    The listener who sees cursive as passe is, of course, incorrect -- and equally incorrect that cursive versus a second language as an "either/or" issue. My children attended a Waldorf school in the elementary grades -- they learned cursive as part of the curriculum -- and did a significant amount of independent writing. They also learned a second language. Both skills are necessary -- and both are possible in a school setting that is based on child development rather than adult issues.

    Unfortunately, much of what takes place in today's public school setting is no longer based on what children need to develop into fully functional adults.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-08-13 10:04

    Manuel emails:

    I home schooled 4 of my 5 children for their elementary years. ALL of them were trained to write cursive and I did my best to assure good penmanship. When they entered the public school, 2 of my children had letters sent to me that they needed to do their homework by printing instead of cursive, as the other students could not read cursive. I was shocked and dismayed, and refused to have my children print as I feel the cursive is far more important than printing, as well as being more attractive. It is shameful that public schools have sent this to the trash heap of education.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-08-13 10:07

    Thomas emails:

    This may be a dumb question, but If students are not taught cursive how are they to read legacy documents when they grow to adults?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-08-13 10:10

    Lisa in Goodville emails:

    Cursive handwriting is a result of the writing tools used. Our very earliest written languages were of unseparated characters, not ones that were connected. Cursive was developed for dipped ink pens. I can print much faster than I cursive write and always could. The ball point pen spelled the death of cursive writing and the computer age will bury it in the ground. There is absolutely no reason to teach cursive anymore -- teach keyboarding instead. I think the supposed learning benefits of cursive writing over typing is because students are not being taught keyboarding, they are left to hunt and peck so it is not comparable. There are many learning benefits to using both hands that would benefit from our students being taught proper keyboarding.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-08-13 10:11

    Jennifer from Lancaster emails:

    I'd like to support your guest's comments about the learning benefits of writing by hand vs. on a laptop. This study was published in Scientific American. Two groups of students heard a lecture. One group took notes on a laptop and one by hand. After the lecture, the two groups were tested and those who wrote by hand did better. The study's authors believe it is because when you take notes by hand, you must synthesize what you hear, whereas note takers on a laptop tend to type what they hear verbatim and don't think while listening.
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/a-learning-secret-don-t-take-notes-with-a-laptop/

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-08-13 10:12

    Lisa from Goodville emails:

    It's truly making me laugh to hear how beautiful cursive writing of the past was. Anyone doing genealogy has seen census records that are so scrawled as to be nearly illegible. There is absolutely no difference between past writers and present writers in neatness! There have always been those with sloppy handwriting/printing and there always will be.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-08-13 10:12

    A listener emails:

    One of the results of not learning cursive writing is that people cannot read cursive writing. Which, over a period of time, will result in Americans not being able to read the Constitution nor the Bill of Rights. . .

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-08-13 10:13

    Sabina emails:
    I think not teaching cursive is probably an injustice to the young people today. Due to my father being career military I was at various Catholic School in varied State and Countries.
    The one constant was the Palmer Pen Method of learning and using cursive.
    I still sting many many years later as I came in second to Frank O, as the winner of the state wide Palmer Pen Method contest…..
    Though I still use a fountain pen and still have my Palmer Pen award fountain pen.
    Without fail people comment on my signature which can be traced back to those formative years of learning cursive.
    While I do not advocate using fountain pen I still think using cursive is still needed as a teaching tool.
    I learned patience, attention to detail, consistency and much much more in learning cursive-all of these have done me a good service through the ensuing years.


  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-08-13 10:13

    Chris Emails:

    Good morning Scott et al:

    It is National Left-handers Day

    I am 68, penmanship was mandated in elementary school. Never did better than a D.

    I would like the expert to address how lefties are taught penmanship.

    The teacher always forced me to hold my paper as a righty would. I beleive this is why so many Lefties turn their hands in such a strange manner to write. I compensated by turning the paper - almost upside down - do this to this day!

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-08-13 10:14

    Lisa in Goodville emails:

    The guest's comment that kids love learning cursive is way way way off base. My daughter was listening to this and she said nobody loved it, everyone hated it. My kids both hated it and I remember hating it. And as to the younger grades not being proficient in typing, well, they aren't exactly proficient in writing either. That's why you TEACH them.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-08-13 10:14

    Diane in York emails:

    Hi,

    This is just my opinion and experience, but I have noticed that I always learn better when I write by hand what ever I want to learn. By hand is the only thing that helps me learn. I can print very well but cursive is just much faster. I can keep up with my thoughts better. I think it is a visual as well as a contact thing. When I type on a keyboard, it looks much smaller and depending on the device, sometimes I can't see the whole document.

    Another thing, I work with someone who can't write cursive and their printing is almost unreadable. It causes all kinds of communication problems on the job, also, they are very slow handwriting anything.

    True, it is a new digital age, but being able to write a legible note or invoice should not be beyond the capability of any intelligent person. A printer is not always available. If the the electric goes out, we can't just stop working till it comes back on. When out in the field most of our invoices are done by hand and entered in the computer back in the office. If the writing is illegible, nobody wants to process those invoices.

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