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Journal Article

Child and Adult, X and Y: Reflections on the Process of Public Administration Education

Danny L. Balfour and Frank Marini
Public Administration Review
Vol. 51, No. 6 (Nov. - Dec., 1991), pp. 478-485
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Society for Public Administration
DOI: 10.2307/976598
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/976598
Page Count: 8
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Child and Adult, X and Y: Reflections on the Process of Public Administration Education
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Abstract

Does how we teach public administration make a difference? Danny Balfour and Frank Marini argue that it does, and that public administration educators have spent too little time debating pedagogical techniques. Mirroring McGregor's classic distinction between management theories X and Y, the authors posit alternative education theories X and Y. Theory X treats learners as passive children whose teachers must make all curriculum decisions and lead students toward preparation for the future. Theory Y views students as relatively autonomous and self-directed learners whose experience is a resource and who can actively participate in the educational process. Public administration education in the future, Balfour and Marini contend, must operate under the assumptions provided by theory Y.

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