Using the Grammar Inventory for Teachers and performance assessments to determine self-efficacy with respect to grammar and mechanics

Date of Completion

January 2003


Education, Language and Literature|Education, Tests and Measurements|Education, Teacher Training|Education, Curriculum and Instruction




The Grammar Inventory for Teachers (GIFT) is a 22-item survey that was developed for this study on self-efficacy and editing performance in both professional and future educators. This study explores the relationship of self-efficacy and the degree to which high levels lead to increased performance on an editing task and whether there is predictability of scoring in a high or low performance range based on the measures. Using the GIFT and an editing assignment, this study reveals that many preservice and in-service K–8 educators do not feel as if they have been adequately prepared for grammar in college; in fact, nearly two-thirds of the sample (N = 149) scored at or below the partially proficient range. The findings suggest that professional educators tend to feel more self-efficacious about their grammatical abilities compared to preservice teachers. Still, when participants feel prepared and have a high degree of confidence in their editing abilities, they may perform poorly on an editing task regardless of teacher group. On the performance-based editing task, professional educators outperform students; professional educators have higher levels of self-efficacy for editing competence. It is also likely that if one is a professional educator, the number of English courses one has in college is indicative of editing performance. Finally, the study shows that preservice and professional teachers feel colleges and universities should incorporate more grammar instruction, specifically grammar methodology for teaching grammar to students in order to promote better teaching in a difficult subject area. Teachers agree that no matter what content area one specializes in, all educators should be prepared to address writing deficiencies in children and should themselves be able to write and communicate to colleagues with few grammatical errors. In terms of having belief in one's capabilities, respondents reported that how one feels about oneself has an effect on helping a child develop important writing skills and, at least among professional educators, this proves to be true statistically. Findings will be presented to schools of education with the intent of making recommendations for curricular change in writing expectations for preservice educators. ^