Magazine article NATE Classroom

Unlocking Poetry: An Inspirational Resource for Teaching GCSE Literature

Magazine article NATE Classroom

Unlocking Poetry: An Inspirational Resource for Teaching GCSE Literature

Article excerpt

Unlocking Poetry: An inspirational resource for teaching GCSE Literature

Trevor Millum and Chris Warren

Routledge/NATE 2012

ISBN 9780415623131

CD 52.00 [pounds sterling], NATE Members 41.60 [pounds sterling]

(nate.org.uk/bookshop or email maureen@nate.org.uk)

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To begin at the end--this is a good resource and it will help English departments move away from 'death by poetry'. Buy it.

Now for the reasons for that rather bald statement ... As a senior examiner for English Literature, of course one of my particular passions has been to help and encourage teachers to move away from the whiteboard and put their highlighter pen down when 'teaching' poetry to a GCSE group. Three series into the new specification, what examiners are seeing time and time again is that students often perform better, sometimes significantly better, with unseen poetry than they do with their pre-prepared, regurgitated 'response' to taught material. In other words, students do better when they can say what they think, freely, without being hamstrung by the shackles of the teacher's paranoia and concomitant reductive responses--the consequences of a target-setting culture.

What Trevor and Chris do with their fab, fresh new edition of this resource is to focus on exactly that same passion demystifying the teaching of poetry and encouraging students to just 'respond'. …

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