History of standardization of English language arts: an analysis of the foundation and focus of English language arts
Culbertson, Deborah Jean
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This dissertation analyzed English language arts standards for changes in the focus and foundation of English language arts content, which added a new dimension to existing research. The population of the study included primary and secondary documents, including nationally published standard documents for 9th - 12th grade, the setting is 1894 - 2010. Brief histories of the American high school and standardization are woven into the development of high school English. The research methodology includes a combination of interim analysis of the literature and the standards, and a content analysis of the foundational standards. A philosophical inquiry of key terms was included in the analysis because terms changed meaning as time passed. The researcher developed detailed semantic maps to demonstrate the changes in the standards. Through these maps and the amended setting, a foundation of standards became apparent. The implications of the foundation standard study are: Media standards should align to visual literacies instead of quick changing technologies; motivation in reading is from self selection which should be reflected in the standards; developmental reading and ways of reading should be defined in the standards; more research in grammar- current grammar instruction is consistently listed as invalid; and elaboration on the impact of political decisions on English language arts. English educators yearn for an answer to the dichotomy in their content; a look at the history may provide some basis for change.
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