Exploring Teachers’ Positions and Practices

Cremin, Teresa (2013). Exploring Teachers’ Positions and Practices. In: Dymoke, Sue; Lambirth, Andrew and Wilson, Anthony eds. Making Poetry Matter: International Research on Poetry Pedagogy. London: Bloomsbury, pp. 9–19.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5040/9781472553096.ch-002

URL: http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/making-poetry-matter-...

Abstract

Drawing upon research into teachers’ reading habits, practices and identities, and data from a United Kingdom Literacy Association (UKLA) project which sought to widen teachers’ repertoires and practice with regard to reading for pleasure, this chapter explores the interplay between one teacher’s developing knowledge and enthusiasm for poetry, and the subtle shifts in her positions and practices as a teacher of poetry. In tune with US studies which show that ‘Reading Teachers; teachers who read and readers who teach’ (Commeyras, Bisplingoff and Olson, 2003) offer significant support to child readers, it focuses on a single ‘Poetry Teacher ‘– who both reads poetry for her own pleasure and who teaches poetry to young learners. In the project, this primary phase professional sought to document her own reading habits and practices as she read poetry, and also scrutinized the reading practices and positions enacted in her classroom. As a consequence she sought to widen these and came to share more explicitly her own enthusiasm and engagement as an adult reader of poetry with the children.

The chapter highlights the significance of considering the relationship between teachers’ positions and practices and those selected and enacted in the literacy classroom in relation to poetry. It reveals the advantages that can accrue when teachers recognise they are responsible for framing what counts as poetry in school and share a developing love of poetry with younger learners.

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