Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

Degree Name



First Advisor

Dr. James C. Young


The purpose of this study was to investigate teachers' use of whole language practices in language arts classrooms to determine if teachers' attitudes and philosophies about whole language influence their teaching. Previous research studies in the area of whole language practices indicate that teachers' preexisting philosophical outlooks concerning language influence the effectiveness of their whole language practices.

The research questions dealt with teachers' perceptions of the effectiveness of a whole language instructional approach. The study also focused on factors that influenced teachers to utilize whole language practices.

Four self-professed whole language teachers participated in this qualitative research study. Data were from classroom observations, interviews with the teachers, teachers' lesson plans, examinations of student's work, and review of curriculum guides.

Data collected revealed that teachers' perceptions and philosophical views are reflected in teachers' instructional practices. The interpretation of data led to the conclusion that whole language practices are influenced by teachers' attitudes and philosophies about whole language.

Recommendations are that teachers be allowed to practice the whole language instructional approach and that training and staff development be provided for teachers desirous of utilizing this practice. It is also recommended that school administrators provide support services and periodic inservice training for teachers desirous of continuous implementation of whole language practices.

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