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Caribbean Journal of Education

The Use of Poetry and Sagacious Sayings to Initiate Active Engagement in a University Critical Reading and Writing Course

To gain optimally from their educational pursuit, university students should assume the roles of active participants in the process. As a facilitator of foundation critical reading and writing courses at a Caribbean university for over a decade, I discovered that students, especially those who pursue degrees in the sciences, find it very challenging to generate ideas for their academic writing. This article focuses on an action mixed method research project in which two groups of students from the Faculties of Science and Technology and Medical Sciences composed weekly Quick Writes about their experiences and engagement in their critical reading and writing course during the second semester of the 2016-2017 academic year. The process involved using their personal written responses to "poetic and sagacious sayings" as a means of generating ideas for further writing requirements.
 
Grounded in the theory of student engagement, the research was designed to obtain students’ perceptions of the strategy. The data were collected from conversations, researcher’s observations, anecdotal notes, reflective short paragraphs written by the students based on the theme, “I am a work in progress”, and a questionnaire which was administered at the end of the semester to garner the students’ perspectives on this strategy. The findings indicate that the majority of the students found this strategy useful, especially in assisting with the writing of their research and reflective essays. In the final analysis, the use of poetry and short wise sayings is an intellectual, affective and aesthetic means of actively engaging students in writing activities.

Publication Date: 
Tuesday, 18 May 2021
Issue: 
DOI: 
https://doi.org/10.46425/c034301r951
Pages: 
10-44
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