Making the case for research informed practice and situated pedagogy

Karin A. Bottom, John Diamond, Pamela T. Dunning, Ian C. Elliott

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


A constant challenge for practitioners and teachers of public administration (PA) as well as those researchers and scholars engaged with the field more broadly or conceptually is to accept that both pedagogy and practice are constantly in flux. If one seems stable, then it is likely that the other is not. How to make sense of this from a pedagogical perspective such that practice can be supported remains a source of tension for many. And the opposite is often the case. It seems a cliché to restate that we are living and working through times of profound global disruption. Arguably, we are still seeking to make sense of at least two other periods of change and disruption: the changes in Eastern Europe, and globally following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Global Financial Crisis from 2007 onwards. All of these 'events' (although of course they were the culmination of deep changes) have left legacies which we are still working through the consequences of. At the same time the existential challenge of the climate emergency has an unprecedented urgency for us all. In an important sense we suggest in this Handbook that the field of PA perhaps more than other disciplines necessitates a merging of the pedagogical with the empirical. We draw on the social, political, economic, and policy context to enable or to prepare professionals and practitioners to engage with their practice for the benefit of citizens. We have a dual responsibility: to analyse and to enquire, as well as to design, develop, and teach a curriculum which is anchored in experiences of those practitioners but also stretches and engages them through their continuing professional learning and development. For anyone working in PA as a practitioner, researcher, or teacher the lens through which we view these moments of historical change and the context or setting they are working in will vary. There are, however, as we set out in what follows in much more detail, several perspectives or underlying principles which make both the study of and application of the teaching of PA highly relevant and current for our times.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Teaching Public Administration
EditorsKarin A. Bottom, John Diamond, Pamela T. Dunning, Ian Elliott
Place of PublicationCheltenham
PublisherEdward Elgar
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781800375697
ISBN (Print)9781800375680
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2022

Publication series

NamePolitical Science and Public Policy 2022
PublisherEdward Elgar


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