Character education professor discusses patriotism in teaching history of 9/11

UMSL character education expert Marvin Berkowitz discusses patriotism in the teaching history of 9/11 on St. Louis Public Radio | 90.7 KWMU.

Marvin Berkowitz, the Sanford N. McDonnell Endowed Professor of Education at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, said teachers need to be careful with how they talk about patriotism when teaching about the history of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, according to an interview with St. Louis Public Radio | 90.7 KWMU. He also said teachers should avoid sending the message that it was American virtue that responded to the attacks.

“A lot of the people who died were not Americans, and a lot of the people who went in and did heroic things were not Americans,” he told the station. “So, it wasn’t a matter of a parochial or a nationalistic bent. And that worries me because in this shrinking world, more and more we try to create this isolationistic notion that we’re better than everybody else.”

Berkowitz, an internationally known scholar, founded the Center for Character and Citizenship in the College of Education at UMSL with Wolfgang Althof, the Teresa M. Fischer Endowed Professor of Citizenship Education in 2006. Through the center, he offers the Leadership Academy for Character Education. LACE is a training program for administrators and educators to learn how to optimally foster the development of character in students while still supporting high quality academic instruction.

In addition to running the leadership academy, Berkowitz has written more than 70 articles, book chapters and reports on character education and the leadership academy. His 2005 book, “Parenting for Good: Real World Advice for Parents from the Character Columns of Dr. Marvin W. Berkowitz,” is a collection of 50 newspaper columns written by Berkowitz over four years for the Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal. The enlightening and often humorous columns are filled with insight, advice and practical strategies about children and their character.

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