Patriotic Education in a Global Age

Patriotic Education in a Global Age

Randall Curren and Charles Dorn

Print publication date: 2019

ISBN: 9780226552255

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


The central question for this book is whether schools should attempt to cultivate patriotism, and if so why, how, and with what conception of patriotism in mind. Through an integrated historical and philosophical approach, the book demonstrates that there have been many and diverse attempts to cultivate patriotism in public schools in the United States and that they have been predicated on different conceptions of patriotism, citizenship, and learning. In order to evaluate the various practices of patriotic education and their underlying assumptions, it addresses the nature of virtue and the motivational foundations of civic responsibility, and it frames a general approach to the ethics of education. It argues that the history of attempts to cultivate patriotism in schools offers both cautionary and positive lessons for the present age of globalization and nativist, populist, and reactionary movements. It concludes that there is a virtuous form of patriotism and that inclusive and enabling just school communities may contribute to its development. Yet, it also concludes that civic virtue is what schools should aim to cultivate, and that civic education should be organized around three components of civic virtue, namely civic intelligence, civic friendship, and civic competence. The book holds that virtuous patriotism is an appropriate responsiveness to a country’s value, and that such responsiveness is one part of civic virtue that is also responsive to what has value beyond one’s own country. It concludes with a defense of collegiate education for global civic friendship, intelligence, and competence in addressing unsolved problems.