Open Conference Systems, 11th DATTArc-ICTE-TENZ-ITEEA 2022

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'Unbuilding’ a poem: reverse engineering as a creative writing process
Ben Egerton

Building: BUILDING C
Room: Keynote Theatre C105 ◉
Date: 2022-12-08 12:15 PM – 12:50 PM
Last modified: 2023-03-06


Cross-curriculum learning can be designed in different ways. The common approach blends curriculum concepts or taught content within a topic or theme. An alternative is to apply processes from one discipline to another. This presentation explores the application of a technological process, reverse engineering, to the creative process of poetry writing. Reverse engineering is a foundational approach in both STEM education and manufacturing and software sectors. It involves “taking a product apart to discover how it works and gain insight into why it was done that way” (Shooter, 2008). Reverse engineering in the form of ‘disassemble, analyse, and assemble’ has been applied to non-fiction writing, such as expository writing and paragraph construction, but there is limited research on how this approach can cross into the creative fields. W.H. Auden (1956) called poems “contraptions” and, as such, they might be taken apart and put back together, enhancing students’ grasp of their construction, and presenting other creative possibilities. Using autoethnographic methodology I examine three case studies drawn from my experience as a technology education lecturer, classroom teacher, and scholar-practitioner of poetry. this presentation critiques the use of a technological process, reverse engineering, as a pedagogical approach for teaching poetry writing.



Reverse engineering; poetry; creative writing; pedagogy

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