Grammar and the Common Core
Grammar instruction-whether done formally by English language arts teachers or incidentally by teachers of other subjects-has been problem-atic for many decades. Why? What’s the problem? Two issues have to do with educational philosophy. Another is that teachers, including and especially English teachers, lack the knowledge and preparedness necessary to teach grammar effectively. Many English teachers feel unprepared to teach grammar because the state of grammar instruction when they went to school was not any better than what it is now. A teacher or two here and there took a stab at formal grammar, but a coherent scope and sequence was not in place. In some cases, a scope and sequence was in place, but it was taught in isolation rather than being integrated right into the “sexier” language arts, reading and writing. So grammar, even if it was taught, was shunted to the side, leaving a legion of English teachers today who sheepishly admit to either not knowing it well enough to teach it or not knowing any effective teaching models for grammar.