In October, a group of faculty members who have participated in KF research exchanges held a virtual roundtable presentation as part of the NASPAA (Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration) annual conference. The session, “Government with the People: Reframing Approaches to Teaching and Student Engagement in Public Administration Programs,” included panelists Thomas Bryer (University of Central Florida), Kara Lindaman (Winona State University), Julie Lester (Middle Georgia State University), Brian Williams (University of Virginia), Kathleen Yang-Clayton (University of Illinois at Chicago), Jeremy Walling (Southeast Missouri State University), and Terry Amsler (Indiana University, Bloomington).
The session builds on David Mathews’ book With the People, which makes the case that what is needed today is government “with the people.” This idea requires different and innovative thinking around democratic engagement within governments, as well as new approaches to preparing students to advance democratic practices in their careers through teaching and engagement opportunities. This roundtable features faculty from diverse institutions to consider opportunities, describe new approaches, and identify challenges in facilitating the notion of government with the people.
As Thomas Bryer explains at the beginning of the conversation, all of the participants have a shared connection to Kettering: “We are brought together to identify ways to embed certain notions of democratic practice . . . in our public administration courses, our public administration curriculum, and in the work that we do with communities.”