Civic Engagement at the Local Level of Government
This study explored the question, "Do local government managers see themselves as civic educators?" Past research suggests that civic engagement has become more important today in helping people adapt to the complexities of a rapidly changing world, and mitigating negative attitudes toward government. The conclusions demonstrated that local government managers in Minnesota see themselves as civic educators covering a broad spectrum of issues, educational foci and educational methods, giving them numerous opportunities for engagement with local government stakeholders in various settings. The nature of the work, as well as the political tone in local government, has required to adopt the role of aiding others in participating in the local government decision-making process in an informal manner. The primary focus of the role is with the city council. However the carrying out of this role is neither prescribed nor is it viewed as politically palatable. One recommendation identified was that educators in the field of public administration should consider bringing the topic of civic education on some level into the training programs for local government managers.
Keywords: Civic Engagement, Civic Education, Local Government, Local Government Managers
Dr. Miriam Porter
Faculty, Professor of Urban and Regional Studies, Minnesota State University, Mankato, MN