What does it mean to be “patriotic” in the United States after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001? And how have the prevailing notions of patriotism—loudly trumpeted in the American media—affected education in American schools? In this spirited book, renowned educational leaders and classroom practitioners answer these questions with insights, opinions, and hard facts. They focus on critical issues related to patriotism and democracy in education, including the social studies curriculum, military recruitment in schools, and student dissent.
Contributors: Bill Ayers • Michael Bader • Robby Cohen • Sharon Cook • Louis Ganzler • Gerald Graff • Diana Hess • Joseph Kahne • Robert Jensen • Gloria Ladson-Billings • Deborah Meier • Ellen Middaugh • Pedro Noguera • Cecilia O’Leary • Diane Ravitch • and Joel Westheimer; Commentators: Bill Bigelow • Héctor Calderón • Edwin C. Darden • Peter Dreier • Delaine Eastin • Chester E. Finn • Jr. • Dick Flacks • Maxine Greene • Joan Kent Kvitka • James W. Loewen • Walter Parker • Charles Payne • Cindy Sheehan • Karen Emily Suurtamm • Studs Terkel • Denise Walsh.
“What does it mean to be a democratic citizen? And what kind of education produces one? For the past two decades, Joel Westheimer has been one of North America’s most knowledgeable and able guides to these critical issues. Along the way, he has forced us to reconsider the larger goals and purposes of our public schools. His book will provide an invaluable roadmap for anyone who asks the big questions, no matter what they think of his answers.”
—Jonathan Zimmerman, New York University
“The essays in this book come at a critical moment and should be welcomed by anyone who is concerned that the values of peace, of democracy, be held high by the coming generation.”
—From the Foreword by Howard Zinn, author of A People’s History of the United States
“A valuable sourcebook for those who are uncertain about what patriotism is and, even more, for those who are certain that they know.”
—Howard Gardner,author of Five Minds for the Future
“By bringing together diverse and often divergent perspectives of patriotism, Pledging Allegiance opens to critical scrutiny the very idea of loyalty to a country. In doing so, it not only offers a useful educational resource but also performs a valuable political service. I can’t think of many books more likely to stimulate deep reflection and spirited discussion, and these activities, after all, are integral to democracy itself.”
—Alfie Kohn, author of What Does It Mean to Be Well Educated?