Should Schools Teach Patriotism?

Should Schools Teach Patriotism?

            Author Harry Brighouse in the book “On Education,” discusses the question on whether or not schools should teach patriotism. Brighouse is against teaching patriotism in schools.  He believes that we should not manipulate and coerce students to accept the policies that our government has made. Citizens are supposed to respect the rule of law, but they are also asked to evaluate whether their governments policy initiatives are just or not. Brighouse uses autonomy as a measure and argues that anything that runs the risk of endorsing certain opinions over others runs the risk of reducing student autonomy, which is why he is so against teaching patriotism in schools. He feels that if we were to promote patriotism this could make students resent our countries policies, and it could also distort and narrowing children’s viewpoints of the nation.

            I disagree with Harry Brighouse and his ideas about Patriotism.  I believe that as a country we are so dismantled and we need to form some type of unity in order to succeed as a country. I believe the ideas that Brighouse presented are causing the country to lack unity. I think that we should take pride in our country. I think that patriotism means that you have a desire to do right by one’s country and that has a strong positive effect on children.

            Patriotism is a respectful understanding and appreciation of the principles and practices of democratic self-government, which should be woven through the daily life and teachings of public schools. The teaching of patriotism in American schools should not be a separate subject or taught forcefully.  Students who have a solid civic education will study the ideas and institutions of the Founders and learn how democratic institutions work, where they don’t, and how they can be improved. Students who study American history will learn about the sacrifices of previous generations who sought to safeguard our liberties and improve our society.  They will also study about the men and women of all races and backgrounds who struggled to create a land of freedom, justice, and opportunity. Furthermore they will learn too about the failings of our democracy. Here Patriotism comes in because how could we as educators deprive our students of an education that allows them to see themselves as part of this land and its history and culture. Students should be able to love their country like they love their families. I think that those who are patriotic about their country tend to respect those who live elsewhere and also love their respective countries.

            Teachers are responsible for teaching the future citizens of tomorrow.  There are many debates on how we should raise these students. I think that it is our responsibility to teach our students the history of our country.  They need to know where they came from and what our Founders have done for our country. From these lessons stems patriotism, which can only positively influence and help students grow.

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