Citizenship education : 50 years of constructing and promoting national identity in schools?
Keywordscitizenship education, imagining, mythmaking, civic nationalism, ethnic naitonalism, Singapore, national identity, Citizenship, Education
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AbstractSingapore was meant to be state within Malaysia in the post-colonial era, but became unexpectedly independent in 1965. As a result, the political elite found themselves in a position of having to construct a Singapore nation. This chapter will look specifically at the construction of national identity through citizenship education in school. It will show how national identity is based the creation of a national ?myth?. The process of ?imagining? this ?myth? involves the selection of a set of values and beliefs, and the construction of a historical narrative that complements and supplements this. The components of this ?myth? address different aspects of the individual ? the personal and social, and the moral, civic and political. The chapter will also identify the aims that this ?myth? has served.