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ERIC Number: EJ1133160
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0155-2147
VALE: Rereading "Personal Response": A Reflection on the Contribution of Annette Patterson
Moon, Brian
English in Australia, v52 n1 p8-13 2017
Looking back now on the contribution of Annette Patterson, to whom this issue of "English in Australia" is dedicated, Brian Moon states that, "he is reminded not only of her intelligence and her capacity for independent thought and inquiry, but also of her courage in questioning some powerful orthodoxies in English education." He reflects on papers published by Annette Patterson--"Personal Response" and "English Teaching"--which appeared in the anthology "Child and Citizen" (Meredyth & Tyler, 1993). At first glance, Annette Patterson's thesis in "Personal Response" seemed a rebuke to what we now call the Personal Growth orientation in English education. Influential in the 1970s and early 1980s in Australia, Personal Growth was a broad movement fuelled by post-war trends in the fields of literary analysis, language acquisition, education, and psychotherapy. This seemed to be the point of Annette Patterson's analysis, too, when she examined the concept of subjective response that asked what personal response actually looked like in the classroom. How did we recognise it? How was it produced? In an incisive analysis, Patterson isolated three characteristics of the "authentic" or "genuinely felt" response (p. 61). Annette Patterson's papers offered a cooler discussion of these issues than was characteristic of most interventions in English curriculum and pedagogy; and viewed in the light of this history, Personal Growth English took on a different appearance. The message Brian Moon takes from Annette Patterson's body of work is that we should not look to education for grand solutions to intractable problems.
Australian Association for the Teaching of English. English House, 416 Magill Road, Kensington Gardens, SA 5068 Australia. Tel: +61-8-8332-2845; Fax: +61-8-8333-0394; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A