J. Vala

Palacky University, Faculty of Education (CZECH REPUBLIC)
The study presents the first results of a current research project which focuses on the exploration of the reception of poetry among students at primary and secondary schools and the possibilities to influence it. Quantitative methods of collecting data provide the basic framework and are supplemented by qualitative methods. With the use of semantic differential, the perception of poetry is analyzed from the point of view of three factors (comprehensibility, evaluation and impressiveness) and the reading preferences of students regarding various types of poetic texts are shown. Q-methodology is used to observe a wide range of evidence on readership and reading, opinions and attitudes towards reading, or the life values in relation to the preferred kind of poetry. A part of the research is also longitudinal research in ten school classes through which we try to find out the opportunities to help building the positive attitudes towards literature, and particularly poetry. Students approach the poems in a non-traditional way and they are encouraged to write their own poetry, which markedly improves their understanding the essence of poetry and lets them get rid of unnecessary shyness. In the course of the experiment, students, encouraged by teachers, keep records of their reading experiences and attitudes in the form of a “reading diary”, and the teachers keep records of their observations as well. Another part of the project is formed by case studies where we can observe how the attitudes towards poetry change in both students and teachers.