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Grade three teachers' experiences in teaching poetry: a case study in three contextual variations.

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This study sought to explore Grade 3 educator’s experiences of teaching poetry, and to understand how and why they teach poetry in the way they do. A qualitative case study was conducted informed by a constructivist paradigm with educators in the Ugu District, south of Durban in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Semi-structured interviews and classroom observations were conducted to gather data, which was then analysed using content analysis. The results of the study revealed that poetry teaching is a neglected area in the foundation phase. Inadequate educator training and professional development, and a lack of realistic alignment of time and available resources with the requirements of the CAPS curriculum, means that insufficient time is spent on poetry, and educators do not apply a uniform approach to poetry teaching during the time that is spent on it. A lack of adequate teaching and infrastructural resources in many schools, and a language barrier created by English as the LoLT, compounds the problems affecting poetry teaching. Many of these issues are not solely confined to poetry teaching, but affect teaching and learning in general in South Africa. Recommendations were provided for these issues to be addressed in a focused manner, to ensure that foundation phase learners in South Africa are adequately equipped to handle the conceptual leap to the intermediate phase. This will assist in ensuring the positive long-term learning outcomes of all South African learners.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.