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Title: The examination of Key Stage Two literary environments with special reference to poetry
Author: Cumming, Rachel
Awarding Body: University of Gloucestershire
Current Institution: University of Gloucestershire
Date of Award: 2006
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I began this research by identifying that poetry was sometimes a challenging subject for primary school teachers to teach. With the implementation of the National Literacy Strategy (NLS) (DfEE, 1998) came extensive coverage of poetry, and I argued the necessity for independent research to investigate how teachers, without specialist training in English, interpreted the NLS for poetry sessions, and how pupils responded. My research aim was to provide an independent and historical insight into the literary experiences of two case study groups, each consisting of a teacher and six pupils in Year Six, and the impact of the recently implemented NLS. To realise this aim I used qualitative methods of data collection: observation to examine the role of poetry in the classroom; and interview, to gain a phenomenological perspective of the relationship between poetry and the research participants. Having carried out the research process it emerged that there were three interrelated areas, which had had significant impact on the literary environment that children engaged in over the Y6 school year. These were: the NLS; the Standard Assessment Tasks (SATs); and National Curriculum (NC) English Level Descriptions attributed to students. Though poetry in the NLS was present across each term, the perceived pressure of attaining certain Level Descriptions in SATs meant that poetry was omitted so that more time could be spent on refining other literary skills. When poetry was taught key issues arose in relation to the way in which each teacher interpreted the NLS. These were: lack of subject knowledge; little discussion of the meaning of the text; and, minimal reference to children's experiences of poetry outside of the classroom. It was also noted that children engaged in ludic word play under certain conditions, and that this was generated in response to interaction with the poem, and each other. I conclude by considering the implications of a socio-constructivist approach to poetry, which I suggest works with children's predisposition for playing with language and learning and engaging with others. This study also highlights that language play in the classroom is relatively unresearched, while establishing a link between ludic play, reader-response theory and the teaching and learning theory of socio-constructivism.
Supervisor: Littledyke, Michael ; Williams, Sandra ; Eddershaw, Chris Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LB1501 Primary Education