Makar speaks out
In the press this week (National, 29
June 2015) it was reported that Liz Lochhead, who has been Scotland’s official
Makar since 2011, is highly critical of the way poetry is being taught in
Scottish schools and she claimed that teaching methods are turning children
right off the art. In particular she claimed that deconstructing the meaning
behind a poem was far too analytical an approach and that children should be
encouraged first and foremost to simply read out and enjoy poems rather than do
them ‘to death’ for a set exam.
Lochhead recommended that teachers who don’t like poetry shouldn’t go anywhere near them and is worried that creativity is being stifled by analysis, marking and exams. The SQA responded with the comment that teachers approach poetry in a variety of ways and that the intention of the curriculum is certainly to encourage and develop an interest in the subject..