ERIC Number: ED250772
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984
Reference Count: 0
Citizenship Education: Recovering a Lost Dimension.
Recent polls have shown that the more education a person has, the less likely he or she is to be proud to be an American. What school children learn today about their country and political system may leave them confused and lacking conviction. Much of this change to neutrality in citizenship education regarding political systems spills over from the values education movement. The change is accurately chronicled in textbooks, which often fail to communicate the basic values of the Western tradition. When the fundamental principles that undergird the political system are not focused on, government is trivialized and citizenship is deprived of the moral and social meaning that engender loyalty. Loyalty is at the very core of human values, allowing social bonds to exist. Adolescents are naturally more concerned about freedom than about loyalty; yet if they can be taught to feel that they are part of a community, loyalty can grow. Textbooks will change to reemphasize good citizenship only if parents and teachers place greater emphasis on patriotism. Reviving patriotic songs and poems, the pledge of allegiance to flag, and the celebration of national holidays and heroes, and by teaching the obligations that freedom entails--including simple private observance of the law--may be the best way to introduce children to patriotism. (DCS)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Marshner, Connaught, Ed. A Blueprint for Education Reform. p130-140. For the complete document, see EA 017 236.