Personal Response' in English Teaching

Year: 1992

Author: Patterson, Annette

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper examines the ways in which a certain conception of 'personal response' to literature became one of the means by which the moral and ethical development of the child could be monitored and directed by the teacher-counsellor in the individualistic milieu of the school. Personal response has traditionally been viewed as the mechanism by which the child could achieve the final project of english; cultural completion through the perfect conjunction of thought and feeling expressed as the 'genuinely felt response'. It is argued here, however, that 'personal response', rather than fulfilling a particular vision of english, has become an ancillary to a wider project of moral supervision.