A Pedagogy of Poetry

Through the Poems of W. B. Yeats

March 2014
More details
  • Publisher
    Trentham Books
  • Published
    21st March 2014
  • ISBN 9781858564975
  • Language English
  • Pages 144 pp.
  • Size 6.125" x 9.5"

Drawing together commentary, research and his own professional experience, John Gordon explores ways of thinking about poetry with students in mind. He posits the distinctiveness of thinking about teaching poetry rather than considering poetry in isolation as an object of study. The book supports readers in developing their own ethos and pedagogical judgement that is flexible enough to respond to the requirements of particular students and particular texts.

The oeuvre of W.B.Yeats is put to use to address the many issues and learning puzzles that can arise when teaching poetry in the secondary phase of schooling (14+) and at undergraduate level. General principles are identified throughout so readers can consider and teach other poems with these ideas in mind.

A Pedagogy of Poetry synthesizes literary criticism and analysis, considerations of literary pedagogy, the empirical research base and the theoretical frameworks concerning responses to poetry. It sets literary study in the context of the psychology of learning while maintaining a focus on how reflection supports teachers’ choices and actions in the classroom.

1. Presenting poems: 'The Lake Isle of Innisfree'
2. Poems as songs: 'The Song of Wandering Aengus'
3. Poetry of place and nature: 'The Wild Swans at Coole'
4. Finding a centre: 'The Second Moming'
5. Making parallels: 'Sailing to Byzantium and getting there'
6. Head and heart: 'No Second Troy' and 'A Prayer for My Daughter';
7. Poems of a moment: 'Easter 1916'
8. Complex poems: 'Nineteen-hundred and Nineteen' and 'Meditations in Time of Civil War'
9. Poems in sequence: Teaching an anthology
Last words

John Gordon

John Gordon works in the School of Education and Lifelong Learning at the University of East Anglia. He has been the course director of an outstanding secondary phase English teacher education program for over ten years and has published widely. He has published articles about learning and poetry in international journals such as The Curriculum Journal, Changing English, English in Education and Classroom Discourse and a chapter in Poetry and Childhood published by Trentham.