Secondary Shakespeare in the UK: Pedagogies and Practice

Victoria Elliott*, Sarah Olive

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, we report data from the first national survey of secondary Shakespeare teaching in the UK, conducted online in 2017–18 with a sample of 211 teachers distributed throughout Wales, England, Northern Ireland, and Scotland. In this article, we outline the pedagogical practices which are dominant. Specifically, we examine the group of pedagogies known as ‘Active Methods’ and consider their popularity in secondary classrooms, and why teachers say they do or do not use them. The most popular activities for teaching Shakespeare plays in the UK across the key stages are as follows: reading with parts around the groups; creating scene summaries; watching a film; and historical context activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)402-413
Number of pages12
JournalChanging English
Issue number4
Early online date13 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any med-ium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way. The terms on which this article has been published allow the posting of the Accepted Manuscript in a repository by the author(s) or with their consent.


  • Shakespeare
  • teaching Shakespeare
  • Active Methods
  • pedagogy
  • drama methods


Dive into the research topics of 'Secondary Shakespeare in the UK: Pedagogies and Practice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this