Research article

Informal patriotic education in Poland: Homeland, history and citizenship in patriotic books for children

Author
  • Catriona McDermid

Abstract

This article uses a critical discourse analysis approach to observe themes and patterns in eight non-fiction books about Polish patriotism for children. The books are commercially available in mainstream bookshops, and may be used in a range of home or educational settings. In a social and political context where the concept of patriotism has a long history of use by various powerful elites to legitimize their positions and political actions, and where approaches to teaching patriotism in schools have been widely discussed, the article compares themes emerging from the books with patterns in wider social and political discourse, as well as considering what messages and assumptions are revealed in the texts themselves. The analysis finds that, while most of the authors try to associate themselves with a modern and inclusive type of patriotism, they also tend to reproduce certain assumptions that favour exclusionary or hierarchical understandings as to who has the right to be recognized as a member of the national community.

Keywords: POLAND, PATRIOTISM, NATIONAL IDENTITY, INFORMAL EDUCATION, CHILDREN'S BOOKS

How to Cite:

McDermid, C., (2020) “Informal patriotic education in Poland: Homeland, history and citizenship in patriotic books for children”, London Review of Education 18(1), 65–80. doi: https://doi.org/10.18546/LRE.18.1.05

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Published on
01 Mar 2020
Peer Reviewed
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