Pruning poets in the middle school : how students' preferences, perceptions, and prior experiences impact the learning of poetry
Jarvis, Kellie Ann
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Sixty-three of the researcher’s own seventh grade gifted language arts students participated in a primarily qualitative study designed to investigate how students’ perceptions of, preferences for, and prior experiences with poetry impact students’ learning of poetry. The researcher developed two formal instruments by which to identify such factors and to indicate changes in poetry attitudes: Poetry Relationship Survey (multiple-choice) and Post-Instructions Reflections (open-ended). Additionally, the researcher considered various in-class responses during the approximately three weeks of classroom instruction on poetry, beginning with poetry reading, moving into various activities and discussion, and culminating in poetry writing and sharing. This instruction was based on humanist and constructionist principles that coincided with current field experts’ recommendations. The following hypothesis is supported by this study: A positive relationship exists between the implementation of poetry teaching strategies rooted in constructionist and humanist principles and improved student attitudes and success with poetry.