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Poetry, an art form rooted in the Greek word “poiesis” meaning “making,” transcends mere words on a page; it is a captivating expression of beauty, rhythm, and language’s inherent qualities. By employing aesthetic and rhythmic properties, such as vivid imagery, metaphor, alliteration, and more, poetry evokes profound meanings and emotions, providing a delightful experience for students in the classroom. According to James and Smith (2018) the harmonious blend of rhythm, rhyme scheme, and musicality in poems sparks the interest of students, making them more receptive to learning English and enhancing their oral communication skills. A skilled teacher, well-versed in the techniques of teaching poetry, can identify and address students’ interests, ensuring that even those who may feel bored by conventional teaching methods are captivated. Utilizing a simple language approach, the teacher can make poetry easily accessible, allowing students to grasp its essence effortlessly.

In senior secondary schools, teaching poetry takes on a multifaceted role, acting as a gateway to explore literature in a unique and enriching manner. The impact of poetic instruction transcends the confines of mere academic learning; it delves into the realm of emotions, creativity, and self-expression. Crucially, this impact hinges on the attitudes of the teachers who lead these poetic journeys. According to Johnson and Williams (2019) when educators approach poetry with a positive mindset, infused with passion and enthusiasm, they create an inspiring and nurturing learning environment for their students. In such a setting, students are encouraged to delve into the complexities of poetic language, to unravel the intricate metaphors, and to savor the profound emotions woven within the verses. Positive attitudes in teachers can kindle a love for poetry in their students, sparking a lifelong appreciation for the beauty and power of words. On the other hand, negative attitudes towards poetry can inadvertently become barriers hindering students’ full engagement and genuine appreciation of this art form. Teachers who view poetry as an obsolete relic or an obscure and difficult discipline may inadvertently transmit this perception to their students. The lack of passion and understanding on the part of such educators can stifle the curiosity and potential interest that students might have had in poetry. This underscores the importance of understanding and addressing teachers’ perspectives, motivations, and beliefs surrounding poetry. By doing so, educators and policymakers can develop effective strategies that foster a more engaging and meaningful poetry instruction, ultimately benefiting the students’ literary and emotional growth.

Teachers’ attitudes towards teaching and learning poetry are shaped by a myriad of factors that intertwine to form their unique educational philosophy. Personal experiences play a significant role in influencing teachers’ perceptions of poetry. Those who were inspired and captivated by poetry themselves are more likely to approach the subject with fervor and zeal, while those who struggled to connect with it might feel less confident in their ability to effectively teach the subject matter. Educational backgrounds also contribute to teachers’ attitudes, as individuals with a strong foundation in literary studies may feel more equipped to impart the nuances of poetry to their students. Continuing professional development opportunities can be pivotal in molding teachers’ attitudes over time. According to Thompson and Brown (2020) workshops, seminars, and exposure to innovative teaching methods can reignite passion for poetry or introduce novel ways to make it more accessible and enjoyable for students. Additionally, cultural influences cannot be underestimated, as teachers from diverse backgrounds may bring unique perspectives and traditions related to poetry, which can enrich the overall learning experience. Understanding these multifaceted factors that shape teachers’ attitudes is crucial for designing targeted interventions that aim to improve their competencies in teaching poetry. Policymakers and school administrators can utilize this knowledge to tailor professional development programs that address specific needs, challenges, and knowledge gaps, fostering a positive and nurturing environment for both teachers and students to thrive in the realm of poetry.

A teacher’s knowledge and understanding of poetry stand as the cornerstone of their ability to inspire and educate their students effectively. A profound appreciation and mastery of the subject empower teachers to delve into the depths of poetic expression, unraveling the intricate tapestry of literary devices, rhyme, rhythm, and metaphor. According to Garcia and Martinez (2021) with this rich comprehension, educators can convey the artistry behind various poetic techniques, illuminating the magic that lies in the carefully chosen words. Conversely, when teachers lack confidence or familiarity with poetry, it becomes a formidable challenge to ignite a spark of interest in their students. Struggling to comprehend the intricacies of poetic language, they might inadvertently present poetry as an inscrutable and distant entity, thereby deterring students from exploring its profound beauty. Consequently, students may grow disengaged and their academic growth may be hindered, missing out on the invaluable lessons that poetry has to offer. Evaluating teachers’ attitudes towards poetry can serve as a diagnostic tool to identify knowledge gaps and areas that require further professional development. By recognizing these shortcomings, educators can be supported in their journey to enhance their understanding of poetry, encouraging them to pursue further education and training that will, in turn, positively impact their teaching methodologies. A continuous cycle of learning and improvement can be fostered, resulting in educators who not only have the knowledge but also the passion to inspire their students to embrace the enchanting world of poetry.

The design of the curriculum and the availability of instructional materials hold immense sway over teachers’ attitudes towards poetry. When curricula are thoughtfully crafted to encompass a wide range of poetic styles, historical periods, and cultural contexts, it imbues poetry education with a sense of depth and relevance. A comprehensive curriculum encourages teachers to explore a diverse array of poets, enabling them to expose their students to a multitude of voices, perspectives, and artistic expressions. This inclusivity broadens teachers’ own horizons, fostering a deep appreciation for the vast tapestry of human emotions and experiences conveyed through poetry. Additionally, the availability of instructional materials can significantly impact the way poetry is taught and perceived. According to Lee and Kim (2022) a wealth of resources, such as anthologies, multimedia presentations, and interactive activities, can invigorate poetry instruction, making it more engaging and accessible to students with varying learning styles. Furthermore, the incorporation of modern technologies and online platforms can facilitate discussions and interactions surrounding poetry, connecting students to a global community of poetry enthusiasts and writers.

Importantly, teachers’ attitudes play a pivotal role in shaping not only students’ learning outcomes but also their overall attitudes towards poetry. Research consistently shows that positive teacher attitudes are strongly associated with improved student motivation, heightened engagement, and enhanced academic achievement. When educators approach poetry instruction with enthusiasm and a genuine passion for the subject, it creates an encouraging and stimulating learning environment for students. According to Clark and Adams (2022) this positive atmosphere fosters a sense of curiosity and exploration, encouraging students to actively participate in class discussions, critically analyze poems, and delve deeper into the nuances of poetic expression. As teachers demonstrate their own appreciation for the art form, students are more likely to develop an enduring fondness for poetry, fostering a life-long love for literature.

Furthermore, the connection between teachers’ attitudes and students’ learning outcomes has profound implications for the effectiveness of poetry instruction, especially in senior secondary schools. By recognizing the direct impact teachers’ attitudes have on the learning experience, educators and educational institutions can devise targeted strategies to optimize the teaching of poetry. According to Mitchell and Anderson (2023) professional development programs can be tailored to nurture teachers’ interest in poetry, fostering a deeper understanding of poetic devices, literary traditions, and the cultural significance of various poems. When teachers themselves are well-versed in these aspects, they can effectively convey their knowledge to students and create meaningful connections between the students’ lives and the themes explored in poetry.

It is in line of the above discussions that this study seeks to make an assessment of teachers’ attitudes towards teaching and learning of poetry in senior secondary schools in Pankshin Local Government Area of Plateau State.


Today, there is a noticeable phobia for the learning and teaching of poetry among teachers and students of literature alike. At both formal and informal discussions about the teaching and learning of literature, stake holders have often decried the difficulty of poetry especially when compared to the other genres of literature namely prose and drama. Some teachers have said expressly that their refusal to teach poetry in school is not for a lack of interest, but because of their fear for poetry. They lament that the language of poetry seem beyond human comprehension. No wonder the claim that the meaning of a piece of poem is very different from the words used to write such a poem.

            As teachers of literature, it is not enough to simply speculate the possible problem(s), but there is the need to investigate and present in measurable terms, the immediate and remote causes of the problem of poor performance and general fear of poetry as a genre of literature. Therefore, it must be stated clearly whether the problem is with the language of poetry, the technique of literary criticism or the quality of teachers’ vis-a-vis the appropriateness of their methods. This research therefore, seeks to investigate the attitudes of teachers towards teaching of poetry in Pankshin Local Government Area of Plateau state. 


            The main purpose of this study is to investigate the attitude of teachers towards teaching of poetry in Pankshin Local Government Area in order to:

  1. Determine the attitudes of teachers towards teaching poetry.
  2. Find out the causes of these attitudes.
  • Outline measures that can correct negative attitudes towards poetry.


The study is guided by the following research questions:

  1. What is the attitude of teachers towards teaching poetry?
  2. What are the probable causes of these attitudes?
  3. What are the measures that can correct negative attitudes towards poetry?


This research is significant now because the falling standard of education and students’ poor performance in literature has been on the increase. This research will ginger young learners of literature if their teachers posses appropriate and positive attitudes towards teaching the subject. Poetry will particularly be cherished course and learners will also develop positive attitudes towards learning the subject. Apart from teachers and students, the society in general will also benefit from this since poetry involves emotional feelings. Writers of poems will have a wider readership too. This will in turn improve students’ performance in literature both in internal and external examinations.


This study covers attitudes of teachers towards teaching poetry. It is limited to selected secondary schools in Pankshin Local Government Area of Plateau State. However, the findings will be used to generalize in other areas not covered by this research.

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