Teaching poetry in a ‘banking system’: problems and solutions in London, England


Sharma, Rahul 2016. Teaching poetry in a ‘banking system’: problems and solutions in London, England. Research in Teacher Education. 6 (2), pp. 23-27.
AuthorsSharma, Rahul

In my previous school, Key Stage 3 (KS3) pupils (ages 11–14) became increasingly tentative in their readings of poetry. They often regurgitated their teacher’s interpretations until their work became thoughtless. To solve this problem, I tested a fundamentally Freirean approach, from September to December 2015. I sought to avoid the ‘banking-system’ culture that had seeped into our department. I found, however, that in fact, certain elements of this culture nurtured the formulation of analytical and imaginative ideas, partly because on some level, the students associated poetry with bilingualism. They noticed that poetry is composed of literal and figurative phrases, and likened the figurative words to a foreign language. Eventually, highly experimental interpretations were proffered not when the students were either lectured at length or given much time to analyse the figurative language at their own pace, but when they were lectured briefly on the literal features and then worked unaided on the figurative components.

JournalResearch in Teacher Education
Research in Teacher Education
Journal citation6 (2), pp. 23-27
PublisherCass School of Education and Communities, University of East London
Publisher's version
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.15123/PUB.5643
Web address (URL)https://www.uel.ac.uk/Schools/Cass/Research/Research-in-Teacher-Education/Volume-6-No-2-November-2016
Publication dates
PrintNov 2016
Publication process dates
Deposited07 Feb 2017
Copyright information© 2016 The author
LicenseCC BY 3.0
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