|Section Title:||National Service|
|Course:||P A 682A - Policy Research Project|
|Day & Time:||Thursdays, 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM|
|Waitlist Information:||For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information|
Description: The course is the second part of a two-year research project on national service policy.
Part II examines service programs in Texas and nearby states, using an ideal-type model of national service. ‘Ideal type’ is a way to study policy problems. In this case, it refers to a system of integrated policies, programs, and practices in this research.
Most commentary on national service policy responds unwittingly to military experience and practice. The often loud, partisan opinions about nationalism, patriotism, and individual freedom crowd out reasoned consideration of existing service programs. Military service and practice, while an essential consideration, is not the best place to start debate and analysis of national service policy. Adaptive capacity is the core concept in this research. It is a more robust way to consider well-being and security of community and country.
Adaptive capacity is the ability of individuals, institutions, and organizations to learn from and respond to changing circumstance. In practice, adaptive capacity is learning that combines the experience of knowing that with knowing how. In impact, it is collective activity that continually upgrades the knowledge and skills of young people and local communities. Service, then, increases individual and community knowledge that sustains an inclusive, participatory U.S. society.
The policy context for this research project is Congressional reauthorization of AmeriCorps (the GIVE Act – Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education), the proposal to create a National Public Service Academy, and the web-chatter at sites like Change*Wire. Key overarching themes in the research are civic engagement, youth and community development, and program innovation.
Return to Fall 2008 Course Schedule