I was recently posed the question; should we teach Patriotism in the schools? And to tell the truth, I thought we did. Granted we can’t teach religion nor can we teach anything that might be politically incorrect for fear of offending the offendable and let’s face it; that quite frankly at times is all of us. But the idea of teaching Patriotism; now who could object? You would think along with reading, writing and arithmetic, a good dose of flag waving, I’m proud to be an American education would be quite acceptable.
To be sure nothing raises the red white and blue ego higher then the thought of non Americans getting the best of us. I’m sure in France and Japan they all teach some form of love your country stuff, so why shouldn’t we. And besides it’s pretty dumb to be telling the world we are the best, if we don’t believe it ourselves. Teaching Patriotism won’t be easy though given the fact for most of us our Patriotism is based on the fact it is my country right or wrong.
The last thing we need is a teacher with a class divided over an issue with one section of the class telling the other, “Love it or leave it!” Plus I would think a few parents will be shocked to see little Johnny or Suzy coming home asking questions that maybe they don’t want to hear? For in order to teach Patriotism; you’re going to have to give a good dose of American history to the students. I can say with all seriousness that I doubt the history book used will be Howard Zinn a History of the United States. Too liberal, too truthful of an accounting of what actually happened.
But still some will be uncomfortable hearing questions like, how come it took so long for women to get the vote Daddy and how come you couldn’t vote if you didn’t own land? Oh but that is history? And you had better throw in a healthy dose of today’s current events as well. We have a tendency according to my Kids to quit teaching history somewhere right before or after the Korean War. The last Chapter after that contains little more that a summary that we landed on the moon and Kennedy got shot. Plus, once you tell the children this is the best country in the world, you’re going to have to test them to make sure they got it.
I would suggest giving them the same test that you have to take to become a naturalized citizen. Its being revised you know. Check out this site for what you will soon be able to have to know, write and understand to be a US Citizen.