Date of Defense



Teaching, Learning and Educational Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Paul Johnston

Second Advisor

Leslie Warren


According to Connie Weaver, well-known whole language researcher and theorist, "Whole language is not a static entity, but an evolving philosophy, sensitive to new knowledge and insights." (1990, 3) Moreover, it is based on research from a variety of perspectives and disciplines: language acquisition and emergent literacy, psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, cognitive and developmental psychology, anthropology, and education. Therefore, whole language is not a method, strategy, or prescribed way of teaching language arts; instead, it is a progressive philosophy that strives to keep language from being fragmented into skills that are essentially meaningless to children. Moreover, a curriculum that uses big books and well-known trade books cannot be labeled whole language based on those characteristics alone because the holistic approach entails more than strategies. In order for a curriculum to be titled holistic, it must be founded in the belief that all practices must be meaningful to children in learning how to communicate through language.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only