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ERIC Number: EJ847258
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Dec
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1175-8708
The Story of English Grammar in United States Schools
Kolln, Martha; Hancock, Craig
English Teaching: Practice and Critique, v4 n3 p11-31 Dec 2005
This article assumes the value of a scientifically grounded, rhetorically focused, professionally supported, and publicly embraced grammar within the public schools and examines the past century of practices within the United States from that perspective. It describes a brief renaissance in the 50's and early 60's, inspired largely by the structural grammar of C. C Fries, and examines the confluence of forces that brought that budding change to an abrupt close--the ascendancy of generative grammar, NCTE policy, including the 1963 Braddock report and the 1986 Hillocks update, whole language approaches to language acquisition, the ascendancy of process approaches within composition, the primacy of literature within English curriculums at all levels, minimalist grammar and its anti-knowledge stance, political pressures against the imposition of an elitist language, a general lack of preparation for those in the teaching profession, and a general public failure to recognize grammar as anything but a loose collection of prescriptive mandates. The authors describe the various factions currently allied against grammar, though often at odds with each other. They describe current pressures for change, including a more widespread recognition that ignoring grammar has been a failure and articulate concerns about highly reductive testing practices in the absence of a more sophisticated curriculum. They describe the shape a successful reintegration of grammar would have to take to accommodate the concerns of those currently opposed. (Contains 2 footnotes.)
Wilf Malcolm Institute for Educational Research, University of Waikato. PB 3105, Hamilton, New Zealand. Tel: +64-7-858-5171; Fax: +64-7-838-4712; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States