ERIC Number: EJ938402
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Reference Count: 16
Patriotism and Parochialism: Why Teach American Jewish History, and How?
Levisohn, Jon A.
Journal of Jewish Education, v70 n3 p2-15 2004
In this article, the author focuses on these questions: why is American Jewish history worthy of being "taught"? And what purpose should such teaching serve? Philosophical questions such as these are important because topics of study are not self-justifying, and asking the questions--questions that must be pursued through conceptual inquiry, rather than empirical inquiry--enables one to examine assumptions while working out ideas that may inform practice. The focus on teaching, in particular, sharpens the questions, because the educational context compels one to make choices among many legitimate options. So while historians might be tempted to defend the importance of American Jewish history in terms of the depth of the scholarship and the historical significance of its conclusions, the author suggests that educators should focus on how such the subject will contribute to larger educational goals. Others believe that patriotism is a worthy educational goal, and that the study of history is a legitimate means to that goal. Here, the author discusses the work of two theorists, William Galston and Eamonn Callan, who believe that the study of history is a legitimate means to an educational goal. (Contains 18 footnotes.)
Descriptors: Jews, Educational Objectives, Historians, Patriotism, United States History, History Instruction
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A