ERIC Number: ED477598
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Patriotism and Civic Literacy.
The visible signs of patriotism displayed in the United States since the events of September 11, 2001 are at once an expression of pride and a palliative for people's grief and sorrow, an understandable response to a national tragedy. But more important is a kind of less visible patriotism that calls for fidelity to the values and principles for which the United States stands. This paper discusses that kind of patriotic fidelity and considers two major questions: (1) what should patriotism mean in a constitutional democracy?; and (2) what responsibilities do schools and educators have for helping students develop a large and wholesome meaning of patriotism? It comments on a March 2002 poll in which 59% of U.S. adults said that involvement in civic life is not essential to patriotism, and on a study of college students in which only about one-fourth of freshmen reported voting in student elections. The paper points to the difficulties that state lawmakers have encountered when crafting legislation for civic involvement by public school students and discusses the 1943 decision of the Supreme Court on "West Virginia State Board of Education vs. Barnette." which stated that every child needs to learn about the basic values and principles of the United States. This learning entails familiarity with and understanding of the nation's founding documents, most particularly with the U.S. Constitution and with the Declaration of Independence. The paper notes that every child also needs to understand why fidelity to those values and principles is essential to achieving the twin goals set for every citizen liberty and justice for all. (Contains 13 notes.) (BT)
Descriptors: Citizenship Education, Citizenship Responsibility, Democracy, Elementary Secondary Education, Higher Education, Patriotism, Political Socialization, Social Studies, Student Needs
For full text: http://www.civiced.org/speech_mb_june02.pdf.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: United States Constitution