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Do you think there's any point in learning poetry in English lessons?

Poll

Do you think there's any point in learning poetry in English lessons?

This thread is part of the Curriculum Conversations project aiming to explore your thoughts and opinions regarding the subjects we learn at school.

Poetry usually makes up a core component of English teaching in lessons and exams but what are your thoughts?

Do you think learning poetry teaches you useful analytical skills or do you think it's a waste of time?
What poetry have you been exposed to in your lessons?
Do you enjoy reading and/or writing poetry?

Post your thoughts below!


More curriculum conversations like this

(edited 1 year ago)
Maybe it's just coz I've loved reading/writing poetry since I was small... but I really enjoyed the 'poetry anthology' part of English Lit GCSE and A Level! I think it teaches good analytical skills - particularly when comparing/contrasting two poems :yep:

It's also funny the poems that stick with you/that you remember decades later - even if you hated the poems in question at the time! :eek: Poems that have followed me into/helped me process things throughout adulthood, include:

'Catrin' - Gillian Clarke*
'Love After Love' - Derek Walcott
'Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night' - Dylan Thomas
'Prayer Before Birth' - Louis MacNeice*
'God's Grandeur' - Gerald Manley Hopkins

( * = had to Google author name :colondollar: )

It's been nearly 20 years since I've studied some of these :shakecane:


To quote from The History Boys:

TIMMS: Sir, I don’t always understand poetry.
HECTOR: You don’t always understand it? Timms, I never understand it. But learn it now, know it now and you’ll understand it whenever.
TIMMS: I don’t see how we can understand it. Most of the stuff poetry’s about hasn’t happened to us yet.
HECTOR: But it will, Timms. It will. And then you will have the antidote ready! Grief. Happiness. Even when you’re dying. We’re making your deathbeds here, boys


:moon:
Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd
Maybe it's just coz I've loved reading/writing poetry since I was small... but I really enjoyed the 'poetry anthology' part of English Lit GCSE and A Level! I think it teaches good analytical skills - particularly when comparing/contrasting two poems :yep:

I’m not much of a poetry fan but I strongly agree with this - if not poetry, I wouldn’t have mastered the skill of analysing full stops and semi colons :lol:
Original post by Mesopotamian.
I’m not much of a poetry fan but I strongly agree with this - if not poetry, I wouldn’t have mastered the skill of analysing full stops and semi colons :lol:


Amen to that :adore:
Original post by Mesopotamian.
This thread is part of the Curriculum Conversations project aiming to explore your thoughts and opinions regarding the subjects we learn at school.


Original post by Mintkoala
What do these threads achieve? As there are so many, it feels like TSR is going to write to the government to try to change the landscape of our education, and for the worse…

See above, it’s a light hearted project initiated by @04MR17 in the educational debate section to get people talking. I’m not quite sure why you think these threads have been negative, it’s simply people posting their opinions on various aspects of the curriculum. Nothing legislative will come of it, I assure you :smile:
Original post by Mesopotamian.
See above, it’s a light hearted project initiated by @04MR17 in the educational debate section to get people talking. I’m not quite sure why you think these threads have been negative, it’s simply people posting their opinions on various aspects of the curriculum. Nothing legislative will come of it, I assure you :smile:

I don’t think it’s been deliberately negative by TSR, but potentially irresponsible. I have some reservations about people saying they think X is pointless and Y should be taken out, just because they don’t like these things, and future students could suffer later on in life, because they could have done with learning those skills. Nobody enjoys absolutely everything at school, but the skills you get from studying things you don’t massively enjoy does set you up well for the future.

‘Exam Boards, Ofqual and branches of the government. Through a series of thread discussions and polls, we want to make sure your voices are heard by those in positions of influence’. That does sound legislative.
(edited 1 year ago)
Surely the point of such threads is to help us all Brush Up [Our] Shakespeare :biggrin:

Original post by Mintkoala
I don’t think it’s been deliberately negative, I have some reservations about people saying they think X is pointless and Y should be taken out, just because they don’t like these things, and future students could suffer later on life, because they could have done with those skills. Nobody enjoys absolutely everything at school, but the skills you get from studying things you don’t like does set you up well for the future, because they give you the analytic and thinking skills.

‘Exam Boards, Ofqual and branches of the government. Through a series of thread discussions and polls, we want to make sure your voices are heard by those in positions of influence’. That does sound borderline legislative.

I disagree, there are several subjects I studied at school which have not aided me whatsoever in life and I’m older than the average user on here, so I’ve got a fair few years of experience, but I digress.
As I’ve said, this is a project created by one of our volunteers and it’s not going to have any real life impact on the curricula we have nationally.
Now, if you have any opinions addressing the OP of this thread, that would be great!
Original post by Mesopotamian.
I disagree, there are several subjects I studied at school which have not aided me whatsoever in life and I’m older than the average user on here, so I’ve got a fair few years of experience, but I digress.
As I’ve said, this is a project created by one of our volunteers and it’s not going to have any real life impact on the curricula we have nationally.
Now, if you have any opinions addressing the OP of this thread, that would be great!

A lot of people find the actual content of what they study irrelevant to their lives. Nothing in GCSE chemistry has helped me in a direct way, but it did teach me analytical and thinking skills that have helped me in life. Just because some people don’t see a direct application of something, it doesn’t mean it’s not helpful. You don’t have to be balancing chemical equations in real life to have benefited learning about them.

Poetry should not be removed, for reasons I have already said. Plus a lot of school poetry has a rhyme and rhythm which can get students involved in English and the topics, who otherwise wouldn’t be interested, because it’s different from books that they might find boring.
(edited 1 year ago)
I think it makes people look deeper into life.
Original post by Mintkoala
So what is the point of telling Ofqual and the government if you don’t expect/want anything to change?

A lot of people find the actual content of what they study irrelevant to their lives. Nothing in GCSE chemistry has helped me in a direct way, but it did teach me analytical and thinking skills that have helped me in life. Just because some people don’t see a direct application of something, it doesn’t mean it’s not helpful. You don’t have to be balancing chemical equations every day in real life to have benefited learning about them.

Poetry should not be removed, for reasons I have already said. Plus a lot of school poetry has a rhyme and rhythm which can get students involved in English and the topics, who otherwise wouldn’t be interested, because it’s different from books that they might find boring.

honestly reading plays in class was way more engaging and memorable than poems
Original post by Mintkoala
I don’t think it’s been deliberately negative by TSR, but potentially irresponsible. I have some reservations about people saying they think X is pointless and Y should be taken out, just because they don’t like these things, and future students could suffer later on in life, because they could have done with learning those skills. Nobody enjoys absolutely everything at school, but the skills you get from studying things you don’t massively enjoy does set you up well for the future.

‘Exam Boards, Ofqual and branches of the government. Through a series of thread discussions and polls, we want to make sure your voices are heard by those in positions of influence’. That does sound legislative.
I can categorically guarantee that threads on this website will not lead to legislation. :yy:

This is an opportunity for thoughts and experiences about the curriculum to be shared and to be heard. If you have further questions about the premise please post here so as not to bring this thread off topic:
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=7223193
waste of time. learning how to read media is way better for the general public. it's not the same thing
Yes. But not because of the skills - I learned the same skills with all the other stuff in the English curriculum. Rather because poetry is a special, unique and almost sentimental way of communicating something to the reader. When you read poetry it’s like reading art.

Basically, it’s a traditional thing that’s useful in an artsy way. Questioning the usefulness of poetry is like questioning if art (think paintings and sculptures etc.) is useful


Will you need it in the real world? No. All essential skills, you learn with the other stuff in English. Is it still nice to have in the curriculum? Yes, just like Art is nice to be taught in schools
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by Genesiss
waste of time. learning how to read media is way better for the general public. it's not the same thing


People shouldn’t need to have lessons about how to read the media and the news. It’s pretty obvious from general life observations to not believe everything you read on Facebook and not believe something because one newspaper has said it as fact.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by Mintkoala
People shouldn’t need to have lessons about how to read the media and the news. It’s pretty obvious from general life observations to not believe everything you read on Facebook and not believe something because one newspaper has said it as fact.


people shouldn't need to have lessons but it's obviously necessary. two newspapers can report on the same thing and tell a different story
Usual brain plasticity stuff etc applies, ir is mad how many people don't seem to understand that the point of learning this stuff is to learn how to learn, to give a broad spectrum education, to literally expand the brain - not to 'be a poet'.

also it is imperative that kids are taught culture, even if they do not embrace all aspects of it.
(edited 1 year ago)
In terms of studying them, yes, poetry is an important component of the literature of the English language and so it should be studied.

If we're talking learning poetry by heart, then that's not something that we need everyone doing. I say this as someone who once entered the poetry recitation competition in my county's eisteddfod and did quite badly. :lol: (I could probably still recite the poem over a decade on though!)
(edited 1 year ago)

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