Character education through poetry

Guttesen, Kristian ORCID: 0000-0002-4031-689X (2022). Character education through poetry. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis explores the possibility of running a poetry-based project, designed to cultivate virtue, in an Icelandic upper secondary-school context, through a PhD research project undertaken at the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtue (2017-2022).

The execution of this PhD project was divided into two stages. Stage 1 consisted in a pilot project (carried out in Autumn 2018). Stage 2 was further divided into 2 sub-stages: Stage 2A and Stage 2B. Stage 2A (completed during the academic year 2018-2019) was about the defining of background knowledge, mapping of the field and preparing teachers. Stage 2B (carried out in Spring 2019) involved an intervention, its monitoring and evaluation (completed in Summer 2020). There are three main outcomes that emerge from the findings, the first two of which functioned as a backward loop at the design stage, in that a new sub-stage was added to Stage 2 once it became clear that the execution of the programme did not live up to expectations:

• The shortcomings of the execution of the pilot project
• The shortcomings of the learning material created for and used during the pilot project
• The strengths of the learning materials and the project in spite of, and in light of, its shortcomings

The outcomes that emerge from the finding can be can be categorised with respect to four overarching themes that identify the role and possibilities for utilising poetry for character education in the Icelandic school system. These four themes are Freedom, Creativity, Time, and Wonderment. In a practical sense, the Icelandic curriculum poses some obstacles, but can also be seen as offering opportunities. The conclusion is that there needs to be a more thorough explanation of the role of character education when running a poetry programme in the context of the Icelandic language subject within Icelandic schools. This finding carries general implications for the use of poetry to stimulate virtues in other countries as well, especially when this is done within subjects that are not pre-designed or designated as ‘character-educational’ historically.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Kristjánsson, Kristjá
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Education
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2361 Curriculum
L Education > LT Textbooks
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)


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