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Open Access Burgerschapsvorming en nationale identiteit

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Citizenship Education and National Identity

On February 7, 2107, the Dutch minister and the state secretary of education sent a letter to the parliament about their proposed measures to improve citizenship education in primary and secondary schools. A new element in their plans was the concern for ‘national identity’. The main question this article raises is ‘Is it possible to promote national identity without promoting chauvinism? To answer the question the author first goes back to the three essays he wrote in the nineties when he noticed a new rise of nationalism in Europe. The central question of those essays was if people can do without a nation, in the words of Jean Améry: ‘How much “Heimat” does a human being need?’ Secondly the author summarizes a recent analysis of nationalism and xenophobia the 2017 parliamentary election campaign of six political parties to illustrate that the call for an emphasis on ‘national identity’ is quite common nowadays. His conclusion is however that ‘national identity’ should not be considered as a basic element of citizenship education. (Dutch) national identity does not exist, as de Wetenschappelijke Raad voor het Regerngsbeleid (Scientific Council for Governmental Policy) concluded in a report in 2007, and all available elaborations of the concept exclude groups of people on beforehand.
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Keywords: citizenship; education; national identity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Email: [email protected]

Publication date: October 21, 2017

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  • Het tijdschrift Pedagogiek stelt zich ten doel de wetenschappelijke discussie over opvoeding, onderwijs en vorming binnen het Nederlands taalgebied (Nederland en Vlaanderen) te stimuleren en te ondersteunen. Pedagogiek beoogt naast een bijdrage aan het wetenschappelijke debat ook de maatschappelijke discussie op de terreinen van opvoeding, onderwijs en vorming te bevorderen. Bijdragen zullen dan ook uitdrukkelijk worden beoordeeld op zowel hun wetenschappelijke als maatschappelijke relevantie. Pedagogiek biedt: (1) wetenschappelijke verslagen van empirisch, theoretisch en historisch onderzoek op het gebied van opvoeding, onderwijs en vorming, alsmede review studies op onderhavige terreinen; (2) opiniërende bijdragen van wetenschappelijk niveau (Forumbijdragen); (3) boekbesprekingen.

    The journal Pedagogiek (Pedagogy) aims to stimulate and support the scholarly discourse on child rearing, education and training within the Dutch language area (The Netherlands and the Flemish region). Pedagogiek strives to contribute to the scholarly debate, but also desires to boost the public debate on the subject of child rearing, education and training. Therefore, contributions will be judged explicitly on both their scholarly merit and their social relevance. Pedagogiek offers: (1) scholarly articles reporting on empirical, theoretical and historical research in the field of child rearing, education and training, and review studies in the same field; (2) opinion pieces on a scholarly level (panel discussions); (3) book reviews.

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