BibliographyBenton, P. (1984) Teaching Poetry: the Rhetoric and the Reality, Oxford Review of Education, 10, no.3, 319-327Benton, P. (1999) Unweaving the Rainbow, Oxford Review of Education, 25, no. 4 , 520-531Cremin, T., M. Mottram, E. Bearne & P. Goodwin (2008) Exploring teachersknowledge of childrens literature, Cambridge Journal of Education, 38, no.4, 449-464Day, C., A. Kington, G. Stobart & P. Sammons (2006) The personal and professional selves of teachers: stable and unstable identities, British Educational Research Journal, 32, no.4, 601-616Erstad, O., O. Gijje, J. Sefton-Green & K. Vasbo (2009) Exploring Learning Lives: community, identity, literacy and meaning, Literacy, 43, no.2: 100-6Lave, J. & E. Wenger (1991) Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation, Cambridge: Cambridge University PressMedwell, J., D. Wray, I. Poulson & R. Fox (2002) Effective Teachers of Literacy: Summary of Findings, London: TTAOfsted (2007) Poetry in Schools: A Survey or Practice 2006/7 , London: OfstedRay, R. (1999) The diversity of poetry: how trainee teachers perceptions affect their attitude to poetry teaching, The Curriculum Journal, 10, no.3: 403-18
Bullock, 1975: First official report into English. Poetry teaching patchy / uneven national picture with poetry receiving a wide range of treatment and some children rarely encountering poetry at all9.25: imp. teacher knowledge and good anthologies but these should not be a substitute for the extensive reading of poetry by the teacher himself
NC: poetry included under range requirements (good quality modern and classic)Knowledge, skills and understanding: requirement to consider poetic forms and their effects
NLS took up NC form requirement with a vengeance - emphasis on form at expense of other characteristics of poetry. Teaching became form driven with anthologies such as The Works dominating classroom collections. These offered haikus, tenkas etc as prescribed by NLS. Particular emphasis in Year 4 for huge range (including thin!)
PNS more enlightened, literature based planning. Progression in Poetry. But how far have sentiments of this been recognised in schools?*Very significant backdrop to our work he is talking about the journeys that have led them to teaching in which poetry hasnt always featured positively.
We take issue with Motions sweeping assertion about teacher training
However, in terms of our research, our interest here is on the affective dimension teachers are anxious. This has been endorsed by our own research with PGs and undergrads
Also link with Bentons research (84): cites Bullock who criticises lack of resources but Bentons point is that its not resources that matter but personal experience of poetry and sympathy towards it. Link too with Antonys points (Jan Exeter) that theres a lot of work about what teachers do but not so much about what they think.
*SECONDARYBenton 84: teachers perceive poetry as unpopular but important also teachers limitations in terms of sub knowl and tchng skillBenton 99: titled Unweaving the rainbow (Antony referred to this in his Exeter presentation); concerns with getting the right answer trainspotting fanatics. Did find teachers more confident, worries about NC , assessmentDymoke tension bet tentacles of assessment and creative approaches. Particular status of student teachers dev ped knowledge at uni have to put into practice in school (where school culture dominates so uni approaches can get overlooked).
PRIMARYCremin: TARS: Phases 1 & 2: teachers particularly challenged by subject knowledge about poems / poets. Has brought this to the fore. Ofsted 06/7 also found many primary school teachers do not know enough about poetry and this was reflected in the limited range of poems studied . Mentions that classic poems and poems from other cultures rarely studied. Medwell teachers knew very little about chs lit, esp poetry much more emphasis on fictionRay prescription NLS meant need for deeper knowledge getting beyond form
Every session we read a poem to both un/grads and PGCE and we modelled active strategies. The poems a range poets, old and new.
All Year 1 students buy an anthology. Directed task for school placement (Yr1) reading and working with a poem (specifically not writing). Our rationale / aims were framed by the research landscape already outlined and educational context, sharpened particularly by Ofsted (although we havent noticed this being followed up a significant line of enquiry in Ofsted inspections at HE level!)
RATIONALE FOR AIMS (1) To be a good teacher of English, sound subject knowledge is needed of poems, poets and poetry (cf Medwell, Cremin)
(2) If students bring negative views about poetry to their training this could have an impact on their ability to teach effectively (cf Motion)
(3) Tuning into poetic lang long established that its imp. to read aloud to children in order to tune (cf Barrs / Collins) into written lang. However, again, were not convinced that this happens regularly with poetry. We want our students to hear for themselves, tune into the language rather than just looking at it because of its figurative lang (which is often labelled rather than analysed / enjoyed). A major focus is lifting the words off the page hoping the students will carry the language away with them.
We did a small pilot evaluation of the project (08-9)
We have broadened the scope of our investigation to include the learning journeys of the student teachers and this is building on our findings from the pilot and the research base.
The second question is in anticipation of work with Poetry Society, 2011 2012 and how we work with them in uni.
We have realised that we cannot ignore the role of the partnership.
The focus for this paper is on the learning journeys these arose from three questions: Childhood memories of poetry at home]Memories of poetry at primary schoolMemories of poetry at secondary school**Here we see a most positive journey of enjoyment and knowledge:
from her home environment she is introduced to different poets and note synergy between home and schooland a primary school culture which encouraged poetry through lending poetry books. A named poem form her primary school days and strong ethos comes through. The enthusiasm of the teachers is mentioned. Importance of reading aloud. In the secondary school once again she was introduced to lots of poetry and making a collection for herself develops a liking and choice which she shows in citing Blake and Duffy.
There is a real sense of developing a repertoire here - at each point she recalls specific poems, collections. *As we explored the data we realised the significance of the teachers in relation to whether the student had a positive or negative view of poetry this chimes with Bullock and research cited earlier and as a result this became a line of enquiry for us as we narrowed the focus down from learning journeys to specific references to teachersAs you can see a third of our respondents were positive about their primary teachers, while the two thirds couldnt remember or rather lukewarm and interestingly none were overtly negative.**However, there were some emphatically negative responses
Even though a lot of students couldnt remember primary school experiences at all, nevertheless there was still a higher percentage of positive memories than for secondary. This chimes with our pilot and Ray where the secondary experience of the anthology was reported on negatively.
However, this is not a blame the secondary school moment: it would seem that for some pupils, this is where the journey is particularly susceptible to derailment! But had the primary responses been stronger then these pupils might have been bringing more robust attitudes to sec school.
*The journeys are what our students bring with them their baggage what were interested in is what happens next whats the impact of our teaching what happens when they go into school?
This links back about identity shifting locus of power culture of the school and Wengers argument about communities of practice. And the interface between uni and school.
Remember that these are first year undergrad students so this is their first sustained experience in school. Also as said earlier they have all had to buy an anthology and read / share poetry with children...