The Instigator
ajborn2act10
Pro (for)
Losing
6 Points
The Contender
Spiral
Con (against)
Winning
34 Points

patriotisms should be taught in schools

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/28/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,591 times Debate No: 4258
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (15)
Votes (12)

 

ajborn2act10

Pro

Patriotism is an important part of our American way of life. Yes America has made mistakes and we need to admit to those (another great lesson for children to learn). But America has many great accomplishments as well. we have a stable government. We have an economy that has done relatively well. Why should we not teach our children to be proud of the country they live in.
Spiral

Con

Thanks for the challenge. I need a break from study anyway. The fact I am not American should make no difference here; the idea of teachable patriotism applies outside of its borders. As my opponent is American however, any examples will be drawn from there.

Resolution:
Patriotism should be taught in schools.

Definition:
Patriotism is an affinity one has toward their homeland (or, adopted homeland) which encourages psychological attachment and pride. This attachment and/or pride is likely to encourage a view of one's homeland as an innately more desirable place relative to others.

"Patriotism is an important part of our American way of life. Yes America has made mistakes and we need to admit to those (another great lesson for children to learn). But America has many great accomplishments as well. we have a stable government. We have an economy that has done relatively well. Why should we not teach our children to be proud of the country they live in."

My opponent has a burden of proof to show the exact value of Patriotism. Merely saying it is a good thing to do, is not enough. Why exactly is teaching national pride beneficial, what positive action does it accomplish?

Firstly my opponent's arguments countered in brief.

A stable government is not special, nor unique to America; the majority of developed countries have one. Slower growth is anticipated for the first half of the year, and the average unemployment rate for 2008 is projected to move up from the 2007 level. In 2009 and 2010 real GDP growth is projected at 3 percent, thereafter slowing. US foreign debt sits, as of April, at around 9.5 Trillion Dollars. In education the US floats around 9th globally for completed high school and college education as a % of its population. Not much to sing about there.
http://www.whitehouse.gov...

Next I will show why an unbiased approach to teaching history and current global reality is beneficial to one that is tainted by ‘national pride'.

I am not arguing that an attachment to one's country is not natural or even moderately justifiable. Cultivating loyal patriotism in students, however, conflicts with the legitimate aims of education. Gaining competence crucial for ascertaining key truths relevant to various disciplines; the nurturing of critical thinking (i.e., the unbiased deliberation of counterfactual evidence); and developing the ability towards economic self reliance are paramount. Patriotism though, is likely to promote a narrow-minded understanding of one's national history, as well as its current role in a globalised society. In addition it can create a harmful attitude of superiority relative to other cultures and peoples, and finally, arrives at a coerced sense of attachment to one's homeland.

When it comes to patriotism, it is disturbing that a tool of the State, i.e. public schools and the means they use (e.g., textbooks), are an active part in its self interests. Loyalty to the State is NOT a legitimate aim of education. Citizenship is not timid; by this the State should also value the capacity for, and the exercise of, opposition. Conscientious objections are entirely valid ways of expressing citizenship. I am not saying it is the role of educators to promote disagreement with the government, but neither is it the role of educators to encourage agreement to the aims of government through loyal, uncritical, unreflective, patriotic actions.

Education for a civic capacity should not present a stagnant reading of the past or the present. A uniform school environment will fail to properly prepare a child for living in a pluralistic (condition of multiple value systems inhabiting the same political space) society. Thus one of the dangers teaching patriotism arises. In a school atmosphere that wittingly or unwittingly encourages uniformity; realistic views of a diverse global reality are denied its students.

Patriotic history is biased. Patriotism encourages a detrimental type of partiality, one that encourages favouritism in ways that militate against others welfare, either; in one's homeland (e.g., toward ethnic minorities), or internationally. Education should be democratic. Students should learn in an environment that supports their willing participation and importantly their own intellectual contributions. Far more preferable than coerced or taught patriotism, is an individual who arrives at such a value of patriotism through unbiased, non forced and critical analysis of history and current events.

Archard, D. (1999). Should We Teach Patriotism? Studies in Philosophy and Education 18, 157-173.

Agnew. C. (2000). Incorporating Proximal and Distal Influences on Prejudice: Testing a General Model Across Outgroups. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 26(4), 403-418.

Callan, E. (2002). Democratic Patriotism and Multicultural Education. Studies in Philosophy and Education 21, 465-477.

Merry. M. Civic Education, Legitimate Partiality and Patriotic Loyalty to the State: Are American Public Schools Doing Well By Their Students?

Pestiand, K., & Kirchler. E, (2003). Nationalism and patriotism as determinants of European identity and attitudes towards the euro. Journal of Socio-Economics 23(3), 685-700.
Debate Round No. 1
ajborn2act10

Pro

Thank you for taking this debate. First let me apologize i should not have assumed you were from America. I guess sometimes i forget the internet is accessible to anyone anywhere. So i am sorry for that. Now on with the debate.

"A stable government is not special, nor unique to America; the majority of developed countries have one"
I was not trying to say that America is the only country with a stable government and economy, I was simply trying to point out the fact that America, like many other countries America has many accomplishments to be proud of.

"Cultivating loyal patriotism in students, however, conflicts with the legitimate aims of education. Gaining competence crucial for ascertaining key truths relevant to various disciplines; the nurturing of critical thinking (i.e., the unbiased deliberation of counter factual evidence); and developing the ability towards economic self reliance are paramount. Patriotism though, is likely to promote a narrow-minded understanding of one's national history, as well as its current role in a globalised society."

My opponent points out that Patriotism promotes a narrow-minded view of a nations history. however accrding tohttp://www.ezinearticles.com... " Children need to feel a sense of belonging too, in their family, their classrooms and in their country. They will thrive in an environment of respect, compassion and stability. If we as parents teach our kids to love, honor, show compassion and respect for their country as well as for their fellow man, they will not only be graced by a sense of patriotism, they will become better citizens, and in turn role models for our future generations."

There is nothing better then children feeling a strong sense of belonging. Also I am not saying that patriotism should teach that our country is better then any other, all countries have problems there is no way to deny that.

"Patriotic history is biased. Patriotism encourages a detrimental type of partiality, one that encourages favoritism in ways that militate against others welfare, either; in one's homeland (e.g., toward ethnic minorities), or internationally. Education should be democratic. Students should learn in an environment that supports their willing participation and importantly their own intellectual contributions. Far more preferable than coerced or taught patriotism, is an individual who arrives at such a value of patriotism through unbiased, non forced and critical analysis of history and current events."

I do not think this debate is about how patriotism should be taught. I am not saying that children should be forced or lied to in order to get them to feel a sense of pride. Also patriotism is not meant to put other countries down rather to celebrate the way your country does things and look at other countries differences and celebrate that as well.

patriotisms is a sense of pride and belonging bot something that is biased.
Spiral

Con

On to round two then. :)

"...i should not have assumed you were from America. I guess sometimes i forget the internet is accessible to anyone anywhere..."

My opponent has unwittingly shown the sense of nationalistic egocentricity common to America; the inconsideration outside its own domain. That is an artefact of patriotism, the elevated regard of its own self. A simple mistake sure, but it does show rather neatly one of the negatives of patriotism.

"I was not trying to say that America is the only country with a stable government and economy, I was simply trying to point out the fact that America, like many other countries America has many accomplishments to be proud of."

This highlights one of the issues with "teaching" patriotism. It is by necessity a biased interpretation or presentation of events. To teach, even in this regard a sense of nationalistic pride in the accomplishment of a settled government, one would extol a virtue that is not unique, an accomplishment that is common place. Pride in the common? Unlikely; what happens in reality is you raise an artefact of your own culture (government in this case) above its place in the international arena. You attribute accomplishment where there really is none; you give exceeding value where it is not due. To instil any patriotic sense, one would concentrate overly on one's own domestic arena to the detriment of an education at a global level.

"My opponent points out that Patriotism promotes a narrow-minded view of a nations history. however accrding tohttp://www.ezinearticles.com...... " Children need to feel a sense of belonging too, in their family, their classrooms and in their country. They will thrive in an environment of respect, compassion and stability. If we as parents teach our kids to love, honor, show compassion and respect for their country as well as for their fellow man, they will not only be graced by a sense of patriotism, they will become better citizens, and in turn role models for our future generations."

We will ignore your source is a biased pro patriotism .com website. Naturally it will say things in favour of it. Its bias however is unimportant here. For your future educational reference though, one would hope at age 16 you have access to more reputable sources; any unbiased source strengthens your own argument, no matter what it is you are writing about.

Firstly, you haven't addressed the biased teaching that is necessary to instil patriotism. Remember the debate is "Patriotism should be taught in schools". If patriotism is a natural progression through self discourse with unbiased facts and reasoning, then great, that's fine. However to "teach" patriotism is entirely different. To instil national pride, the nation must be praised, to create a patriotic environment; patriotism must be an ideal to attain. This ‘educational aim' is then by necessity a biased presentation with the goal for the state of patriotism in students. Children should be allowed to have neutrality in education; that should be the ideal, not patriotism. Then they will become better citizens, better role models. Why? Simply because America is not an isolated country; we exist in a global age. Education is, in part, about preparing students for their futures, patriotic education is in detriment to that. Teach the history unbiased, facts unbiased, fair distribution of educational goals with a global frame of mind.

"If we as parents teach our kids to love, honor, show compassion and respect for their country as well as for their fellow man."

Schools remember. We are debating patriotism taught in schools, not the home.

"There is nothing better then children feeling a strong sense of belonging. Also I am not saying that patriotism should teach that our country is better then any other, all countries have problems there is no way to deny that."

"There is nothing better then children feeling a strong sense of belonging"

You have committed two fallacies here:

Appeal to Emotion:
1.Favorable emotions are associated with X.
2.Therefore, X is true.
Appeal to Popularity:
1.Most people approve of X.
2.So, I should approve of X, too.
3.Since I approve of X, X must be true.

What you fail to realise that to teach patriotism, it necessitates bias. What you are basically saying is, teach unbiased and patriotism will be taught. That is not the case, either you teach unbiased and let the individual reason to their patriotism (or not as the case may be) or you teach with the aim of patriotism. You can not have it as both. If you favour non biased education you must explain then how that you are "teaching" patriotism; simply inferring it is not enough. You are defending the teaching of patriotism.

"I do not think this debate is about how patriotism should be taught. I am not saying that children should be forced or lied to in order to get them to feel a sense of pride. Also patriotism is not meant to put other countries down rather to celebrate the way your country does things and look at other countries differences and celebrate that as well."

Actually this debate is exactly how patriotism should be taught. You can not merely say we should teach in a non patriotic way thus teaching patriotism. I never mentioned lying to children (another fallacy), the term was biased, an unreasonable favouring of one view over another, of one interpretation over another, of one set of facts over another.

Patriotism is exactly placing one's own countries values/experience/people etc. at a higher level than another's. While this may seem fine, this does by necessity mean that another country (and its people) are seen as "less than" or inferior. This is a well documented effect. It happens in any group of like minded individuals. The group sees themself as having different (positive) qualities to those outside of a group (negative). To use a rather base (and please just take it for the example it is) patriotic sensibilities are what leads in part to genocidal acts; in group solidarity versus out group degradation. It happens on all levels, to all types of group formation. Patriotism creates in group solidarity and by effect that means that out groups are seen as inferior. Why should I support that ideal?

Barrett. M., Wilson. H., & Lyons. E. (2003). The development of national in-group bias: English children's attributions of characteristics to English, American and German people. British Journal of Developmental Psychology 21(2), 193-220.

Smith, E., Mackie. D. (2003) Social Psychology (3rd e.d.) Psychology Press: Philadelphia.

Verkuyten. M. (2003). Ethnic in-group bias among minority and majority early adolescents: The perception of negative peer behaviour. British Journal of Developmental Psychology 21(4), 543-564.
Debate Round No. 2
ajborn2act10

Pro

ajborn2act10 forfeited this round.
Spiral

Con

An unfortunate forfeit.

Patriotism encourages a negative form of favouritism, whilst there is not much wrong with a certain level of national pride, it can come at a cost. If patriotism is such a worthwhile ideal, why then should it be indoctrinated into the young and impressionable? Is it so weak against any rational discourse that it neccesitates such an option? If it is not a weak ideal then how more valuable is its formation from a rational unbiased approach to education. If it is so weak against a rational approach, one must question its value at all. Keep education unbiased, let the children be free to decide their own position.

________________________________________________________________

T.S. Eliot (1888–1965). Prufrock and Other Observations. 1917.

2. Portrait of a Lady

Thou hast committed—
Fornication: but that was in another country,
And besides, the wench is dead.
The Jew of Malta.

I

AMONG the smoke and fog of a December afternoon
You have the scene arrange itself—as it will seem to do—
With "I have saved this afternoon for you";
And four wax candles in the darkened room,
Four rings of light upon the ceiling overhead, 5
An atmosphere of Juliet's tomb
Prepared for all the things to be said, or left unsaid.
We have been, let us say, to hear the latest Pole
Transmit the Preludes, through his hair and fingertips.
"So intimate, this Chopin, that I think his soul 10
Should be resurrected only among friends
Some two or three, who will not touch the bloom
That is rubbed and questioned in the concert room."
—And so the conversation slips
Among velleities and carefully caught regrets 15
Through attenuated tones of violins
Mingled with remote cornets
And begins.

"You do not know how much they mean to me, my friends,
And how, how rare and strange it is, to find 20
In a life composed so much, so much of odds and ends,
[For indeed I do not love it … you knew? you are not blind!
How keen you are!]
To find a friend who has these qualities,
Who has, and gives 25
Those qualities upon which friendship lives.
How much it means that I say this to you—
Without these friendships—life, what cauchemar!"

Among the windings of the violins
And the ariettes 30
Of cracked cornets
Inside my brain a dull tom-tom begins
Absurdly hammering a prelude of its own,
Capricious monotone
That is at least one definite "false note." 35
—Let us take the air, in a tobacco trance,
Admire the monuments,
Discuss the late events,
Correct our watches by the public clocks.
Then sit for half an hour and drink our bocks. 40

II

Now that lilacs are in bloom
She has a bowl of lilacs in her room
And twists one in his fingers while she talks.
"Ah, my friend, you do not know, you do not know
What life is, you who hold it in your hands"; 45
(Slowly twisting the lilac stalks)
"You let it flow from you, you let it flow,
And youth is cruel, and has no remorse
And smiles at situations which it cannot see."
I smile, of course, 50
And go on drinking tea.
"Yet with these April sunsets, that somehow recall
My buried life, and Paris in the Spring,
I feel immeasurably at peace, and find the world
To be wonderful and youthful, after all." 55

The voice returns like the insistent out-of-tune
Of a broken violin on an August afternoon:
"I am always sure that you understand
My feelings, always sure that you feel,
Sure that across the gulf you reach your hand. 60

You are invulnerable, you have no Achilles' heel.
You will go on, and when you have prevailed
You can say: at this point many a one has failed.

But what have I, but what have I, my friend,
To give you, what can you receive from me? 65
Only the friendship and the sympathy
Of one about to reach her journey's end.

I shall sit here, serving tea to friends…."

I take my hat: how can I make a cowardly amends
For what she has said to me? 70
You will see me any morning in the park
Reading the comics and the sporting page.
Particularly I remark
An English countess goes upon the stage.
A Greek was murdered at a Polish dance, 75
Another bank defaulter has confessed.
I keep my countenance,
I remain self-possessed
Except when a street piano, mechanical and tired
Reiterates some worn-out common song 80
With the smell of hyacinths across the garden
Recalling things that other people have desired.
Are these ideas right or wrong?

III

The October night comes down; returning as before
Except for a slight sensation of being ill at ease 85
I mount the stairs and turn the handle of the door
And feel as if I had mounted on my hands and knees.
"And so you are going abroad; and when do you return?
But that's a useless question.
You hardly know when you are coming back, 90
You will find so much to learn."
My smile falls heavily among the bric-�-brac.

"Perhaps you can write to me."
My self-possession flares up for a second;
This is as I had reckoned. 95
"I have been wondering frequently of late
(But our beginnings never know our ends!)
Why we have not developed into friends."
I feel like one who smiles, and turning shall remark
Suddenly, his expression in a glass. 100
My self-possession gutters; we are really in the dark.

"For everybody said so, all our friends,
They all were sure our feelings would relate
So closely! I myself can hardly understand.
We must leave it now to fate. 105
You will write, at any rate.
Perhaps it is not too late.
I shall sit here, serving tea to friends."

And I must borrow every changing shape
To find expression … dance, dance 110
Like a dancing bear,
Cry like a parrot, chatter like an ape.
Let us take the air, in a tobacco trance—

Well! and what if she should die some afternoon,
Afternoon grey and smoky, evening yellow and rose; 115
Should die and leave me sitting pen in hand
With the smoke coming down above the housetops;
Doubtful, for a while
Not knowing what to feel or if I understand
Or whether wise or foolish, tardy or too soon… 120
Would she not have the advantage, after all?
This music is successful with a "dying fall"
Now that we talk of dying—
And should I have the right to smile?
Debate Round No. 3
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by ClayTrainor 8 years ago
ClayTrainor
Patriotism shouldn't be taught... it wouldn't be real patriotism if you had to learn it.

Patriotism is supposed to be a natural emotion, not something you learn.
Posted by HandsOff 8 years ago
HandsOff
Children should be shown examples of individuals who did something admirable so they might use those examples as inspiration to also acomplish something admirable. But to promote a sort of blanket pride in an entire country capable of both good and evil seems like a recipe for ignorance and naivatee. Maybe selective patriotism for certain admirable actions would be more useful. This country is currently an embarrassment in comparison to what our founding fathers had in mind. The topic was well debated.
Posted by DrAlexander 8 years ago
DrAlexander
PRO, actually you stood your ground fairly well, unfortunately you were up against a pretty good competitor.
Posted by ajborn2act10 8 years ago
ajborn2act10
Sorry for not writing back and forfeiting, My school is in the middle of exam week and i have not been online. Good luck although you don't seem to be needing it.
Posted by DrAlexander 8 years ago
DrAlexander
Hahah...
So far three votes, that mind control thing is working, nice poem btw.
Posted by Spiral 8 years ago
Spiral
Let the mind control begin...

*shifts eyes*
Posted by Rezzealaux 8 years ago
Rezzealaux
I need to watch this one.
Posted by DrAlexander 8 years ago
DrAlexander
Aha. Now we know your secret!
:D
Those poems you post whenever someone forfeits is another form of mind control, I knew it!
haha.
Posted by Spiral 8 years ago
Spiral
Thanks, DrAlexander. :) While my intention is never to change opinions, it's always good to know my mind control is working. *narrows eyes*
Posted by DrAlexander 8 years ago
DrAlexander
Wow, I've yet to read a debate that has changed my opinion on something I felt strongly on. Though, I used to support patriotism in school, now I see things differently.

Nothing but excellence Spiral, not that we expected any less.

Thanks! So far I can only see a CON vote...
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