Researching Poetry at GCSE and A Level: Anthologies and Aesthetics in the teaching of poetry
8 May 2019
RESEARCH SEMINAR: Research has shown that poetry is an aspect of English which both teachers and students of the subject tend to feel ambivalent about. The way in which poetry (at GCSE and A Level at least) tends to be configured in examinations – ‘high-stakes’ poetry – and the way it tends to be taught – exclusively through the paradigm of literary criticism rather than as a creative art – have often been identified as contributors to this difficulty.
Julie Blake (University of Cambridge) and Gary Snapper (University of Oxford) report on two research projects linked with Sue Dymoke’s Poetry Matters project (University of Leicester), which seek to shed some light on key moments in the ‘cycle’ of poetry experiences between school, university and teacher training. Julie Blake’s research investigates the history and experience of poetry anthologies at GCSE, whilst Gary Snapper’s research focuses on the experience of poetry for English A level students – what they experience and how they experience it.