Case Study of Teachers' Current Strategies to Teach Grammar and Writing
Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
In a southeastern state school district, 23.2% of the students did not meet the 80% passing requirement on the 2014 state’s writing assessment. Research for writing and grammar instruction is extensive, yet many teachers struggle with finding effective instructional strategies. The purpose of this instrumental case study was to explore the instructional strategies used at 7 schools to teach writing and grammar skills to Grade 5 students and to identify instructional gaps. Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences and Lev Vygotsky’s theory of cognitive development together provided a theoretical foundation that emphasizes constructive social learning strategies as well as attention to multiple intelligences. A simple review of background data was conducted on the district’s writing curriculum guide to outline instructional strategies and test data to document scores of the fifth grade students at the 9 elementary schools. The primary source of data came from semi-structured interviews of 6 teaching and learning specialist assistant principals and a fifth grade teacher, who altogether represented 7 of the 9 elementary schools. The interview questions elicited participant perceptions about current writing instructional strategies and resources used with Grade 5 students. Typological data analysis revealed 5 themes of collaboration of teachers, vertical teaming, test format, vocabulary, and writing across the curriculum. These instructional strategies were included in the resulting professional development project. This project has implications for positive social change by increasing the number of teachers at the lower performing schools improving implementation of instructional strategies, and improving students’ writing test scores.