2020 Faculty Leaders Program

Collage of past Faculty Leaders Program events

July 29, 2020

Given travel challenges, and in lieu of a week-long program, Pardee RAND invited the nearly Faculty Leaders Program alumni to reunite via two dynamic workshops designed to reenergize their commitment to integrating policy analysis in their classrooms.

The first workshop, taught by Prof. Jeffrey Wasserman on July 14, built upon the material that was covered in the attendees' original weeklong Faculty Leaders Program, using the current context as a jumping off point.

Wasserman explained that the COVID-19 pandemic and recent racial justice protest movements have given scholars an opportunity to think about how the world could radically change in the next 3-5 years as society reexamines and reworks traditional structures, systems, and policies. He used the session as an opportunity to discuss:

  • How the traditional policy analysis framework can be applied to improve health and social justice
  • How that framework needs to be modified to meet today’s challenges
  • Ways to engage students in the policy development and analysis process, and
  • Roles for advocates and analysts.

The second workshop, taught by Faculty Leader alumna Jameta Barlow (cohort ’16) on July 22, introduced “disruptive policy analysis pedagogy” and shared techniques to enhance the “informal syllabus” of attendees’ classrooms.

The purpose of this session was to share decolonizing approaches towards teaching public policy analysis in the classroom. Disruptive policy analysis pedagogy moves beyond the general practice of deficit-based analysis with power differentials and inherent biases that can negatively impact successful policy implementation. Disruptive policy analysis forces the analyst to disrupt commonly held beliefs and approaches towards policy analysis, which often minimize the perspectives of marginalized populations.

Barlow's goals for participants were to eenable them to

  • Develop and share an inclusive and informal syllabus that centers the most marginalized populations, includes critical approaches to public policy analysis, and addresses power differentials
  • Engage with and model for their students an intersectional approach towards stakeholder engagement and policy implementation and analysis
  • Explore, develop, and share a more robust methodology for conceptualizing marginalized experiences around policy analysis, and
  • Implement and share their version of disruptive policy analysis, praxis, and pedagogy.

Barlow's session used a combination of discussions and case studies with skills and practice, and role modeling opportunities. She imparted techniques for teaching challenging, politically charged topics while also centering well-being in the classroom within the COVID-19 context.

The two workshops were also designed to deepen alumni connections with each other, help them continue to build on their policy skills and knowledge, and learn new techniques to teach policy analysis.

—Monica Hertzman