University of Cambridge > > Centre for Commonwealth Education (CCE) > Cracking the poetry code: Empowering teachers of Caribbean poetry

Cracking the poetry code: Empowering teachers of Caribbean poetry

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Bryony Horsley-Heather.


Poetry is generally regarded as the most difficult literature genre to understand and teach because of its complex language. Many researchers agree that often teachers’ attitudes towards poetry and their teaching efficacy help to create an in-built resistance and this affects their pedagogy. One of the ways teachers can increase their sense of efficacy is by improving their pedagogical and content knowledge of the subjects they deliver. This paper reports on professional development workshops on the teaching of Caribbean poetry that were delivered to secondary school English teachers in Trinidad and Tobago. Initial findings reveal that teachers found the workshops beneficial in exploring important concepts and issues in the teaching of poetry as well as offering strategies they can use in their classrooms. They also pointed to a need for additional workshops on specific areas of poetry that could enhance their pedagogy.

Sharon Phillip is a Lecturer in the Teaching of English at the School of Education, UWI , St Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago. Her research interests and professional presentations include Caribbean Poetry, Children’s Literature, Professional Development, and Critical Thinking. She taught at the primary and secondary levels before moving on to tertiary education. Sharon has been a member of the CCE Caribbean Poetry Project team since 2010 and ran very successful workshops in Trinidad & Tobago this year.

This talk is part of the Centre for Commonwealth Education (CCE) series.

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