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ERIC Number: EJ774495
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Apr
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0031-7217
Is Patriotism Good for Democracy? A Study of High School Seniors' Patriotic Commitments
Kahne, Joseph; Middaugh, Ellen
Phi Delta Kappan, v87 n8 p600-607 Apr 2006
In this article, the authors take a systematic look at high school seniors' views on patriotism and its relationship to democracy. Drawing on the work of the Harwood Institute and on studies by Robert Schatz, Ervin Staub, and Howard Lavine, they discuss a set of criteria that can help them determine the degree to which students' patriotic commitments align with the needs of a democratic society. Specifically, they focus on three dimensions of patriotic belief: (1) commitment to country; (2) attitudes toward critique of country; and (3) active involvement. Then, using this framework as a guide, they share findings from their study of the patriotic commitments of California's high school seniors. They conclude that if educators wish to foster a strong and committed sense of democratic patriotism in their students, they have some serious work to do. Rather than "teaching" students to love their country, teachers need to help students build an explicit connection between their "love of country" and democratic ideals--ideals that include the role of informed analysis and, at times, critique; the importance of action; and the danger of blind loyalty to the state. (Contains 28 endnotes.)
Phi Delta Kappa International. 408 North Union Street, P.O. Box 789, Bloomington, IN 47402-1789. Tel: 800-766-1156; Fax: 812-339-0018; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California