Research Interests

Sue’s main research interest is the teaching of poetry in secondary schools. This focus developed from her own experiences both as a published poet and a secondary English teacher and also formed the basis of her doctoral research. Sue is particularly interested in: writing poetry;spoken word poetry education; poetic forms (such as the ghazal and the Golden Shovel); poetry from different cultures and traditions; the place of poetry within, and outside of curriculum and assessment frameworks and the development of beginning teachers' subject and pedagogic knowledge in this area. Sue has also written web materials both for the Poetry Archive and the Poetry Society and has evaluated spoken word education programmes. She was the guest editor of 'Poetry Matters', a special edition of English in Education in autumn 2007.

Other research interests within the field of English teaching are Post 16 English courses and the use of Information Technology in teaching English. Sue was a consultant for the Edexcel examination board for the development of their 2008 English Literature ‘A’ Level specification. She completed a TTA-funded action research pilot study on e-learning in Initial Teacher Education which focused on the use of wireless technology to enhance teaching and learning in secondary English.

Research Projects

'Making Macromolecules Mainstream' (2019 -) Working with Dr Pietro Roversi and colleagues from the Leicester Institute of Structural and Chemical Biology, Sue is exploring creative ways of developing public engagement with protein structures and protein-related health agendas. This project, funded by the Wellcome Trust ISSF, will build on approaches first developed in Dymoke & Roversi's 2018 'DNA Time' collaborative poem.

Poetry Writing Workshop Pedagogy (Oct 2017 – Mar 2018) (S. Dymoke, Co-I, with Y. Nakai, PI, University of Hiroshima, funded by Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science). This pilot project took place in Japan. It involved teachers and Master's students in trialling and responding to a variety of workshop practices developed and informed by Sue's previous research projects. A paper (Nakai & Dymoke forthcoming 2019) is to be published in the Japanese journal The Science of Reading.

'Poetry writing development' (2015 - ) Working closely with Dr Anthony Wilson (Exeter University), Sue is exploring young people's poetry writing development as a socially contextualised practice. The theoretical model that they have proposed (Wilson & Dymoke 2017) will, subsequently, lead to empirical research.

'16-19 Poetry learning, teaching and assessment' (2014 - ) Sue initiated a research group of researchers and teachers, based in Australia, England, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Malta. This group continues to develop three pilot strands of research focusing on different aspects of Post-16 poetry education and assessment. The first pilot project, led by Dr Jennifer Hennessy (Limerick University) is funded by a Scotens grant, aims to explore teachers' practice, development and confidence in teaching poetry at Post-16 level in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The second pilot, led by Dr Gary Snapper at Oxford University focuses on Post-16 students' agency and their views on their A level poetry education. The 16-19 group presented their provisional findings on these two pilots at Bera Conference 2018.

'Academic and Poetic Identities' (2013 - 2017) With Dr Jane Spiro (Oxford Brookes University) Sue explored the writing processes and identities of writers who are actively engaged in writing academically within the Higher Education research community and who are also writing as poets and publishing their work in both fields. The aim of the project was to develop understandings about research/academic writing processes and their correlation with other forms and, potentially, to offer support to writer-practitioners who straddle writing disciplines.The work was funded by the HEA National Teaching Fellowships which both researchers hold. Publications include Dymoke & Spiro (2017) and Spiro & Dymoke (2015).

The Teaching of Poetry in Diverse Contexts’ (2011- 2013) This focused on the teaching of poetry in diverse contexts. It included comparative research in Auckland, New Zealand and Leicester. Sue has been a visiting scholar at the University of Auckland in March to May 2011 during the first stage of data collection. Her visit was funded by the University of Auckland and NZATE.

ESRC Poetry Matters seminar series (2011-2012) From January 2011 - July 2012 Sue led this ESRC funded seminar series. The four seminars in Exeter, Greenwich and Leicester involved leading researchers, teachers, teacher educators, poets and creative practitioners in the field of poetry pedagogy and publications from the seminars include 'Making Poetry Matter: International Research on Poetry Pedagogy' (2013) and 'Making Poetry Happen: transforming the Poetry Classroom' (2015).

'Pre-service teachers' Poetry' Her research in this area has explored the development of pre-service teachers' poetry subject and pedagogic knowledge and use of a wiki to support this development. This project was carried out jointly with Dr Janette Hughes from the University of Ontario Institute of Science and Technology. A member of the now disbanded Education group for the National Poetry Archive, Sue has also written web materials for the Poetry Archive, the Poetry Society and the TTA to support poetry teaching and learning.

‘E-Learning in Initial Teacher Education’ Sue completed a TTA-funded action research pilot study on e-learning in ITE which focused on the use of wireless technology to enhance teaching and learning in secondary English.

'The Professional Development of Induction Tutors' (2003-2005) Sue was a member of the School of Education's Esmee Fairbairn-funded team which researched 'The Professional Development of Induction Tutors'. Sue led a research strand, investigating the further professional development opportunities which exist for beginning teachers within the context of the performance review process used in English state schools.

‘The Letterbox Club’ This is a national, Department of Children Schools and Families (DCSF) funded project led by a colleague in the department, Rose Griffiths. This project provides books and mathematics materials for looked after primary school aged children in public care.

Topics for Doctoral supervision:

  • Secondary (Mother tongue) English, Drama and Media education - especially poetry pedagogy, spoken word education, reading for pleasure and Post-16 English teaching and learning
  • Critical literacy, Digital literacy, multi-literacies and use of ICT in English teaching
  • Creativity - especially poetry writing and creative approaches in teaching and learning
  • Professional, pedagogic and subject knowledge development of beginning/recently qualified teachers
  • Arts-based curriculum construction and pedagogy

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