Home >  Blog >  Poetry teaching in schools

Poetry teaching in schools

Posted by Garry Collins, AATE President on 17 March 2014
Poetry teaching in schools
  • The following letter was submitted to The Australian for the edition of Monday 17 March but was not selected for publication. It was written in response to an opinion piece by Christopher Bantick who regularly writes for the paper. He is described as: "a writer and senior literature teacher at a Melbourne boys Anglican grammar school". The paper did publish a letter from a teacher at Eynesbury Senior College in Adelaide which countered Bantick's claims saying that "poetry is alive and well" at her school.

Poetry teaching in schools

Christopher Bantick’s interest in promoting the teaching of poetry in schools is to be commended (“Dying light of poetry”, 15-16/3). Some of his sweeping generalisations, however, must be challenged.

He claims that teacher training institutions - presumably all of them since he offers no qualification – “do not teach poetry as part of an English teaching degree”. I can tell him that I regularly use poems in courses for prospective secondary English teachers that I teach at the University of Queensland where I work as a sessional academic.

He also claims that teacher professional development never has anything to do with poetry. This weekend just past I presented a workshop as part of a mini conference run in Brisbane by the English Teachers Association of Queensland. The session was entitled “Grammar and poetry: Integrating the language and literature strands of the Australian English Curriculum”. The teachers who gave up half their Saturday to participate certainly thought it dealt with poetry.

It is to be hoped that Bantick reminds his own students that sweeping generalisations are often wrong and that claims should be moderated to accord with the available evidence.

Garry Collins
President, Australian Association for the Teaching of English (AATE)

Garry Collins, AATE PresidentAuthor: Garry Collins, AATE President
About: Garry Collins is the Immediate Past President of ETAQ and began a 2 year term as AATE President on 1 January 2014. A retired high school English teacher, he now works in the School of Education at the University of Queensland as a sessional tutor in English curriculum courses.
Tags: Curriculum matters

Post comment

Upcoming Events

Short Stories - Year 11

Emma Monfries and Kiri Lucas will present some practical activities and observations from Unit 2: Texts and Culture.  With these activities, students can conceptualise in concrete ways the relationship between place and culture, for example, through layered maps, and to convey this in texts such as short stories.  Students can a...

Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Saturday 15th February 2020
Venue:   Ryan Catholic College
Email Enquiries:   trish.purcell@bigpond.com


An Afternoon with Christine Hills

The Darling Downs Branch will present an Afternoon with Christine Hills and the Collins Writing Program on Wednesday, 26 February, 2020. Afternoon tea will be served from 3:15 to 3:45 pm. This workshop will allow teachers and school leaders an opportunity to: Explore elements of grammar that are central to good writing and align w...

Category:   Seminar
Start Time:   3:15 PM
Date:   Wednesday 26th February 2020
Venue:   St Ursula's - Toowoomba
Email Enquiries:   trish.purcell@bigpond.com


March Seminar 2020: Diving Deep into Story

Literature is the lifeblood of the English classroom and we all endeavour to make our classrooms creative spaces, helping students to experience the pleasures of responding to and creating literature. This seminar will explore diverse ideas related to creativity in English. The keynote address will be presented by Assoc. Professor Kim Wil...

Category:   Seminar
Start Time:   8:10 AM
Date:   Saturday 21st March 2020
Venue:   Griffith University TBC
Phone Enquiries:   0455464000


Tony Hytch presents

Tony will present a session on getting students assessment ready for Essential English. Further details are on the flyer.

 

Category:   Seminar
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Saturday 2nd May 2020
Venue:   Pimlico High School


Early Career Conference 2020: Diving Deep into Teaching

This event for teachers in their first firve years of teaching and those who are new to the teaching of English will submerge you in a new, colourful, and enchanting world where you can engage with your peers. it is also a 'not to be missed' event for preservice teachers.  For those who are interested in offering a presentati...

Category:   Seminar
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Saturday 9th May 2020
Venue:   To be confirmed


< Previous | 1 | 2 | 3 | Next >
View all

Latest News

Lindsay Williams and the Analytical Essay

 

This session will be repeated at Aquinas College on Tuesday 28 April 2020.

View all

Blog Feed

Grammar myths

Sep 12 2017
An edited version of the letter below was pu...

Impact on learning

Sep 12 2017
The following letter was submitted to The Au...
Read all

Testimonials

Read All

This is the first time I have been to an ETAQ conference and it was really sensational to get so much at all of the sessions.

ETAQ conferences always have sessions that make me excited to be a teacher.

I know that ETAQ conferences in the past have never disappointed - valuable, relevant, practical, inspiring so I came again.

Read All

Newsletter

Receive updates
from ETAQ

PO Box 3375, STAFFORD,
Queensland, Australia, 4053
(07) 3284 3718
ABN: 17 689 278 512

Connect to a great range of people who are passionate about English and have their finger on the pulse.

Be Connected