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Caribbean Journal of Education

Taking it Personally: An Approach to Teaching Caribbean Poetry in London

Publication Date: 
September 2013

The paper I delivered at the Caribbean Poetry Conference was based on my findings while planning and teaching a series of lessons introducing Year 8 students (12yr olds) in Haringey, North London to Caribbean poetry. 

The ability to analyze a poem is a brilliant test of a student’s command of language. But if we are serious about encouraging independent thought, if we want our students to speak out, to develop their own voice—then we must foster a genuine response to the poetry we give them. It would be a terrible irony to choose the revolutionary, freedom-loving poetry of the Caribbean, only to teach children how to respond by rote. A creative approach to reading poetry nurtures a confidence in the form that can only benefit their writen analysis.

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