The KISS Grammar Site

Menu for
the Political
Salvador Dali

       "The Political?" What does politics have to do with the teaching of grammar? Twenty years ago, I would have asked that question. The links on this page lead to several answers. 

     Clear, Testable Standards -- A Plea for Literacy proposes a grade-level sequence of clear, testable standards that parents can understand.

     "Open Letters" from KISS Grammar (including a series on the Common Core)explores the problems in the Common Core.

     "The Crime: Our Failure to Teach Teachers" explains how no one at the university level wants to take responsibility for teaching a good pedagogical grammar to future teachers. As a result, any "required" course in grammar for future teachers ends up being either something to be avoided, or something to support graduate students. Either way, we continue to send English teachers into classrooms without any solid foundation for teaching grammar. 

      "Save Money! Burn the Grammar Textbooks!" explains some of the problems with those big, expensive textbook series from the major publishers. Here, of  course, the question is one of politics and money. These publishers are not going to support an approach to teaching grammar that eliminates their expensive textbooks.
      Finally, there is the question of the National Council of Teachers of English. NCTE is by far the most influential non-governmental organization in setting policy regarding English Education. During the 60's, 70's, and 80's, NCTE led a vigorous campaign against the teaching of grammar, a campaign that led to a 1985 resolution against teaching grammar. "Was NCTE Biased against the Teaching of Grammar?" documents part of that campaign. Unfortunately, that campaign was based on some very faulty research. See "Why the Anti-Grammarians are Wrong: The Problems with Previous Research."

     NCTE's Problem with the Teaching of Grammar This link calls for a national, public investigation into NCTE's role in the teaching, or I should say, the non-teaching, of grammar. 

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