Teaching Poetry: What is Taught and What Should be Taught? Case Study of Secondary Schools Offering Literature in English at the Advanced Level in Rwanda

https://doi.org/10.51867/ajernet.5.3.2

Authors

Keywords:

Advanced Level, Literature in English, Poetry, Poetry Analysis, Teaching and Learning

Abstract

Teaching poetry as a literary genre has been a research topic of interest worldwide. However, the gap is observed in teaching poetry in secondary schools in Rwanda, where students are not given the quantity and quality of knowledge and skills they deserve. This descriptive study investigated poetry teaching practices and examined whether teachers are teaching what they should be teaching to equip students with critical thinking, analysis, and language skills. Adopting the descriptive research design and the mixed method approach, the study is built around three objectives: to explore how poetry is taught to students doing literature in English at the advanced level of secondary schools; to investigate the aspects of poetry that are often taught and those that are not; and to assess the challenges that teachers of literature in English face while teaching poetry. The study is guided by New Criticism Theory, Multimodality Approach, and Reader Response Theory. It used both quantitative and qualitative methods. Questionnaires and interviews were used to collect data from 22 teachers of literature in English selected purposefully from 16 schools that offer literature in English as a main subject at the Advanced Level. The study findings revealed that students are highly at risk as teachers of this subject exhibited poor competence in teaching and analysing poetry. Besides, some teachers don’t give poetry a focus, and others don’t teach it at all. The issue becomes more acute when one considers the general lack of adequate resources. The study recommends the University of Rwanda, the College of Education, REB, and their partners set policies for increasing teachers’ competences in the field of literature in general and teaching poetry in particular. Individual teachers of literature in English should feel confident while handling poetry as a literary genre. If an issue arises, instead of simply leaving out the topic, let them consult their colleagues in the nearby schools for a common understanding.

Dimensions

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Published

2024-07-02

How to Cite

Nshimiyimana, E., Kamanzi, A., Mutoni, E., & Bazimaziki, G. (2024). Teaching Poetry: What is Taught and What Should be Taught? Case Study of Secondary Schools Offering Literature in English at the Advanced Level in Rwanda. African Journal of Empirical Research, 5(3), 12–22. https://doi.org/10.51867/ajernet.5.3.2