In the contemporary world, movements and reforms geared towards the topic of public administration in many nations all point at the inception of a new era of public administration paradigm. The gradual failure or fall of the traditional, orthodox, and bureaucratic paradigms that are unique to the modern age now inject people with the urge to think about the new practices in public administration, which are characterized by the postmodern conditions and activities. Public administration currently operates with a postmodern period where the traditional processes, methods, and teachings are never homogenous or compatible to the realities and constructs of the modern time. In argument from the perspective of the post-modernistic public administration view, this paper thereby identifies and scrutinizes the administrative aspects that are conspicuously lacking in the traditional public administration education curriculum.
Taking a close look at the traditional public administration education curriculum, the design and implementation of the traditional educational approaches could not adequately meet the emerging changes in student populations and the increasing number or augmenting scope of public administration programs arising from the increasing student enrolment. The history and concepts behind public administration are known to date back to B.C. during which the intellectual discourse on administrative practices relied on the emergence of cameralism by 18th century. Cameralism refers to the traditional science of German administration, which was classified into three: Polizei, Oeconomie, and public finance. Since then, the study of administration has been used traditionally since the emergence of public administration as a discipline. The traditional public administration was commonly characterized by extreme government controls, central bureaucracy, political neutrality, and top-down control mechanisms.
As opposed to the traditional public administration systems, the new/postmodern public administration has introduced a market-driven operational society, which operates like a private sector rather than the regulatory and interventionist public counterpart. The gradual revolution has thereby introduced an array of interplay between the economic market, society, and educational sector; a shift that has produced an increase in the efficiency of the provision of public services, which is dominated by managerialism rather than the bureau-professionalism.
The bureaucratic and orthodox (traditional) public administration, both in theory and in practice, has gradually given way to the new model of teaching public administration education in the postmodern era. For instance, one of the most noticeable features or aspects of the postmodern public administration within the modern era that was conspicuously lacking across the entire U.S. is the diversity in population groups that is characterized by the rapid increase in the number of Latinos, Hispanics, African Americans, and Asian Americans among other minor racial groups. Other communities, particularly within the Southern and Western parts of U.S. such as Carolina, Georgia and Iowa recently experienced a tremendous growth in the population of Latinos and Hispanics, as compared to the fewer numbers or low population that existed about two decades ago.
Owing to the abovementioned rapid change in multiculturalism across the modern American society, which we use here to represent the general global society, the teaching of public administration education during the postmodern times now demands for the inclusion of more essential topics such as diversity and social equity into the modern curricula. Such essential topics are capable of facilitating students learning and knowledge, hence boosting their overall competencies, a factor that will better nurture and e quip them with relevant knowledge and skills that will help then work within and manage public organizations in the modern multicultural society.
In conclusion, the post-modernistic concepts of public administration have introduced several changes to the traditional public administration, which this paper introduces from the context of education curriculum. The orthodox and bureaucratic approaches that could not meet the demands of modern day curriculum has now been replaced by the postmodern approaches, activities, processes and programs. These include the introduction of diversity and social equity disciplines into the modern curricula, which were conspicuously lacking in the traditional approaches to public administration. As well, the postmodern approaches to public administration, such as managerialism have been introduced to replace the bureau-professional approaches.
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