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Scots Language Centre Centre for the Scots Leid

Makar speaks out

2nd July 2015

Liz LochheadIn the press this week (National, 29 June 2015) it was reported that Liz Lochhead, who has been Scotlands 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 dont like poetry shouldnt 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.