Don't fear poetry! Secondary teachers' key strategies for engaging pupils with poetic texts

Document identifier:
Access full text here:10.1080/00313831.2019.1650823
Keyword: Social Sciences, Educational Sciences, Didactics, Samhällsvetenskap, Utbildningsvetenskap, Didaktik, Poetry pedagogy, Aesthetic experience, Secondary education, Teacher education, Svenska med didaktisk inriktning, Swedish and Education
Publication year: 2020
Relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
SDG 4 Quality education
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Poetry is a key element of many literature curricula but poetry teaching is something with which many teachers struggle. Research indicates that teachers lack experience of poetry as well as subject knowledge and that current high-stakes testing poses challenges. While previous research has investigated teachers’ experiences through large quantitative studies, this study focuses on what teachers who are keen readers of poetry regard as key elements of pedagogy. The material comprises 15 interviews with secondary school teachers of Swedish. A thematic analysis identified four themes: drawing on personal engagementdiscussing pupils’ conceptions from the outset, creating a safe classroom atmosphere, and scaffolding pupils’ interpretations. The study highlights the centrality of the aesthetic experience and suggests that attention should be paid within research regarding how aesthetic content should be taught and that teacher educators should scaffold pre-service teachers’ individual exploration of poetry to help them become confident teachers of poetry.


Anna Sigvardsson

Luleå tekniska universitet; Pedagogik, språk och Ämnesdidaktik
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