This paper reports on an attempt to engage undergraduate students in extra-curricular writing activities in order to induct them into the tacit knowledge and understanding of a writing community. Using Etienne Wenger‘s notion of communities of practice as a model for considering learning it argues that in order to welcome students into a community they need to be empowered so that they construct their identity as members of that subject group. A study of the literature surrounding communities of practice, and Participatory Action Research (PAR) led to the adoption of PAR as a mode of consultation with students and as an instrument for change. Students’ views on their experience of the extra-curricular activity are presented and the subsequent progress made in revising the provision is reported, along with the extension of the consultation to include the student view on their curriculum and an attempt to accommodate some of those views in revised delivery. The paper concludes with the proposal that the use of PAR may be a useful tool in promoting autonomy amongst undergraduate students and that Creative Writing tutors may be uniquely well placed to exploit it.
|New Writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing
|Early online date
|3 Mar 2016
|Published - 2016