Date of Award

Summer 2022

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Leigh D’Amico


With the advent of standards-based education and its focus on English proficiency, English learners are at-risk of falling further behind when compared to their English adept peers because educators find themselves ill-equipped to meet the rigorous demands of such a curricular shift. This study aimed to identify pedagogical practices that bolster a standards-based grading (SBG) curriculum for sheltered English learners. Qualitative data from teacher participants and students, such as interviews and observations, were used to create a novel curriculum for sheltered English learners, centered on standards-based grading practices, and examine that curriculum’s effectiveness in helping teachers and their sheltered English learner students meet the challenges of a standards-based education.

Results show specific sheltered instruction observation protocol (SIOP) strategies became integral to an SBG curriculum. Additionally, the opportunity to collaborate increased perceived confidence among teachers, encouraging them to further collaborate on other standards. Despite time being an issue among students concerning advanced proficiency, students discussed benefits to their basic knowledge and understanding. Implications of these findings are discussed relative to assisting other sheltered EL teachers struggling to implement an SBG curriculum in their classrooms, and essential actions are discussed relative to a school or district’s implementation success.