Metawriting posts from the new blog location

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Flipping the Switch: Moving from thinking about community to organizational communication

The month of June was all about communities for me: Writing communities, learning communities, how we create them, and why. That’s because as a National Writing Project Site Director I was working with our Summer Institutes (professional learning communities for teachers which include writing communities) as well as summer writing camps for kids – which are essentially writing communities. Ever since joining my first writing group back in 1994, I have believed in the power of a writing community to transform a writer. That is why when I became involved in the National Writing Project it was not a stretch for me to believe in the power of a learning community to change education. And so, it is not surprising that I frequently blog about community and, to be honest, I still have a few more blog posts I want to write about my experiences with writing communities and learning communities during June – including our work with Pat Schneider’s book “Writing Alone and With Others.” Furthermore, I need to start thinking (which will mean writing) about the writing studio program we will pilot this fall (Morehead Writing Project Studio – harnessing the power of English Education students to create writing groups for developmental writing students).

Now I both need and want to set aside my teacher hat for a time and place my research hat firmly in place. I want to think about communities as a rhetorician and technical communicator – this means thinking about organizational communication. It seems that the professional world doesn’t want to refer to groups or collectives as communities but would prefer organizations. You say potato… I am interested in learning more about the ways and means that organizations communicate and how those ways and means impact the formation of an organization and/or induction of new members as well as its operations and effectiveness. I am especially interested in the way organizational communication helps and hinders the activities of the organization. I am fascinated by the way language is used to create different kinds of social structures, such as relationships, teams, and networks as well as the creative potential of communication to construct new possibilities for organizing.

But now I need to spend some thinking and theorizing my next project – and maybe some time reading too.

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