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Title: Rethinking critical patriotism: A case of constructive patriotism in Social Studies teachers in Singapore
Authors: Chua, Shuyi
Sim, Jasmine Boon-Yee
Keywords: citizenship education
constructive patriotism
critical patriotism
national education
Social Studies education
Issue Date: 2016
Citation: Chua, S., & Sim, B. –Y. (2017). Rethinking critical patriotism: A case of constructive patriotism in Social Studies teachers in Singapore. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 37(1), 1-13.
Abstract: Critical patriotism is an ideal in many liberal Western nations. Few studies, however, explore how teachers understand and teach critical patriotism and the possible tensions arising from its adoption, especially in non-Western contexts. This qualitative case study explores the understandings and practices of two Social Studies teachers from an elite girls’ school in Singapore to understand how they negotiate the tensions that arise when critical thinking and patriotism meet. The findings show that the teachers perceive little contradiction between patriotism and critical thinking and hence, generally taught in line with democratic citizenship education. They encouraged students to discuss controversial policies, brought in diverse perspectives and challenged the status quo. However, sensitive to the socio-political context in Singapore, they sought consensus instead of contestation, gradual change instead of radical change, in contrast to the spirit of critical patriotism. These findings suggest that in Singapore, where communitarian values are promoted, critical patriotism was expressed differently. Constructive patriotism may be a better term to describe the type of patriotism observed in the teachers.
Description: This is the final draft, after peer-review, of a manuscript published in Asia Pacific Journal of Education. The published version is available online at
ISSN: 0218-8791
Other Identifiers: 10.1080/02188791.2016.1142425
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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