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ERIC Number: EJ1133164
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0155-2147
The Gentle Dissenter: Revisiting Annette Patterson's Research in English
Mellor, Bronwyn
English in Australia, v52 n1 p92-97 2017
In this special issue of "English in Australia" dedicated to Annette Patterson, Bronwyn Mellor reflects on this "gentle dissenter". Annette Patterson published articles, book chapters, and school textbooks in Australia, the USA, and the UK. Her incisive intellect and commitment to education probably meant that she was not ever going to allow a position or an orthodoxy to remain unexamined. Annette's thinking took a path that her friends and colleagues didn't always understand initially, coming only belatedly to appreciate the erudition and nuanced cleverness of her arguments. Patterson thought the task of English, it seemed, was to emancipate individuals from varying social evils and thus allow them to see "things as they really are". She encouraged students to ask how and why these particular characteristics of English had emerged. She assembled descriptions of the emergence of English that are remarkably consistent in their attention to the production of a particular kind of person: one who can see clearly; is self-governing; and, in the Critical Literacy classroom, not deceived by ideology. Annette did not come to see Critical Literacy as "bad" in itself, only disingenuous in the claims it made. During her lifetime, Annette produced an impressive body of work. The breadth and depth of her work and research, in fact, makes one quail at the prospect of trying to provide a survey of just one aspect of her more-than-thirty-years' intellectual enquiry in the field--and doing even partial justice to it.
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
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A