Patriotism in moral education: Toward a rational approach in China

Cong Jason LIN, Liz JACKSON

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Patriotism is controversial in moral education across contexts. In China, patriotism is highly politicised by the government and heavily promoted in education. In the last few decades, the moralisation of patriotism, which refers here to the framing of patriotism as a virtue, has become the focus of teaching patriotism in China. This paper demonstrates how patriotism is moralised and promoted in Chinese moral education textbooks. The paper begins by providing a theoretical introduction to patriotism in moral education and defending a rational approach to teaching patriotism given its controversial nature. Then it elaborates on the Chinese context of teaching patriotism and analyses patriotism as part of moral education in Chinese textbooks. Our findings indicate various ways in which patriotism is promoted in Chinese education as a non-controversial virtue and moral duty. Finally, the paper discusses the limitations of this way of teaching patriotism and argues for the adoption of the rational approach as an alternative. Copyright © 2022 Journal of Moral Education Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-361
JournalJournal of Moral Education
Issue number3
Early online dateNov 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2023


Lin, J. C., & Jackson, L. (2023). Patriotism in moral education: Toward a rational approach in China. Journal of Moral Education, 52(3), 343-361.


  • Moral education
  • Patriotism
  • China
  • Nationalism
  • Rational approach


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