University of Limerick
Hennessy_2011_dissecting.pdf (1.95 MB)

'Dissecting the bird to articulate the song': exploring the nature of teaching and learning poetry in the Irish leaving certificate classroom

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posted on 2022-10-12, 14:21 authored by Jennifer HennessyJennifer Hennessy
Motivated by the conviction that listening to pupils’ and teachers’ perspectives enables the researcher to gain a deeper understanding of teaching and learning processes, this research explores the nature and provision of poetry at Leaving Certificate level in Ireland. It draws on research conducted over a four year period from 2007-2011 with 80 practising Leaving Certificate poetry teachers and 200 Leaving Certificate pupils of poetry. Set against a backdrop of educational consumerism, this research identifies a number of areas of concern for educators including; a narrowing of the curricula, a traditionalist approach to pedagogy, widespread teacher dissonance and pupil disengagement in addition to a ubiquitous teaching to the test ideology at Leaving Certificate level. Drawing on the research findings, it is argued that poetry is vulnerable to becoming a marginalised and technicised endeavour in the Leaving Certificate classroom. Recommendations for renewed teacher agency are proposed in striving to renew a critical and creative approach to poetry pedagogy in schools.



  • Doctoral

First supervisor

Mannix McNamara, Patricia





Department or School

  • School of Education

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