School of Education
Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction (EdD)
grammar instruction, grammar curriculum, teacher beliefs, theory of reasoned action, phenomenology, Florida BEST Standards
Jackson, Athena Pualeilani, "A Phenomenological Study of How English Teachers' Beliefs Affect Their Grammar Instruction" (2021). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 3119.
The purpose of this phenomenological study was to describe how beliefs about grammar affected the grammar instruction of 10 high school English teachers in central Florida. Fishbein and Ajzen’s (2010) theory of reasoned action guided the study since the theory shows the relationship between beliefs and actions. A phenomenological design with a transcendental approach was used, and data was collected through three methods: interviews, observations, and participant reflections. Data was analyzed according to Moustakas’ (1994) steps for data analysis. Data analysis included horizonalization, theme development, textural descriptions, structural descriptions, composite descriptions, and a synthesized essence of the experience. Many participants admitted having limited knowledge of grammar because they did not receive much grammar instruction as children. Feelings toward grammar varied. Some expressed that grammar was an integral part of writing and communication, while one participant stated, “Grammar is just so eh, you know?” Another teacher compared trying to teach grammar to beating a dead horse: It was useless. There was no clarity or consensus on what learning and teaching grammar actually entailed, and it reflected in the pedagogical practices observed. The study was conducted during the Covid-19 pandemic, so there were limitations to the observed teaching practices and data collected. The results of the research have practical implications for the implementation of Florida’s BEST standards that includes a comprehensive list of grammatical concepts. When asking English teachers to implement the new grammar standards, district and school leadership must consider teachers’ beliefs, past frustrations with teaching grammar, limited technical knowledge, and limited pedagogical knowledge specific to grammar, so that effective professional development can be designed and given.