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Should we teach children patriotism in school?

June 24, 2019
Should patriotism be taught in the classroom? Here, schoolchildren stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.Schoolchildren stand for the Pledge of Allegiance in a classroom. (Getty Images photo)

Just as people balance their ethical obligations to their families with their responsibilities as citizens, they also can honor special commitments to their own country while acting as responsible members of the larger world.

So says University of Rochester philosopher Randall Curren in a recent story in the Irish Times about teaching patriotism to schoolchildren. The paper interviewed Curren about the concept of “virtuous patriotism” that he expounds in his newest book, Patriotic Education in a Global Age (University of Chicago Press, 2018), coauthored with Charles Dorn.

“We owe people we are interacting with—wherever they are in the world—fair cooperation,” Curren told Irish Times reporter Joe Humphreys. “That is a fundamental civic duty and anything that could constitute virtuous patriotism would have to fit into that larger scheme … Being properly responsive to the value of a country is going to have to be sensitive to what actually helps us live well together and what does not.”

An ethicist who works across the boundaries of moral, political, legal, environmental, and educational philosophy, Curren chairs the philosophy department and also holds a joint appointment in the Warner School of Education.

Read the full story.

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Category: Society & Culture