A structuralist discourse analysis is used to analyze strengths and weaknesses of patriotic education in terms of its potential to solve urgent problems of Russian development. Evolution of governmental policies in patriotic education in the 1990s-2000s is described. The paper defines the scope of problems given top priority in modern Russian patriotic education discourse and specified the issues that are underestimated. Some disturbing trends are prevalent in the patriotic education discourse today: too little focus on developing honesty and fidelity to one's principles (including intolerance towards corruption) as socially important qualities of a successful person; disability to convincingly discriminate between patriotic education and aggressive nationalism; and intolerance towards those who express 'insufficiently patriotic' views on Russia's past and present. A similarly pressing problem is posed by the soaring degradation of the national education system and by the threat of further deterioration of moral authority of teachers and officials acting as agents of patriotism. The author proposes to change the focus of patriotic education and its place in the system of national pedagogic priorities. Results of this analysis may be used as a framework to conceptualize the strengths and possible weaknesses of patriotic education in order to develop recommendations on its realization. The results may also serve a basis for further discussions on developing conceptual and practical approaches towards patriotic education in modern Russia.
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