Deep politico-social and economical changes taking place at the turn of XX-XXI centuries in Russia influenced radically on the society development in economical, cultural, legal and civil aspects. The changes occurred in the country require the search for a new content, new ways of formation of a citizen able to find himself in this world.
The problems of patriotic education at the present stage are acquiring a special importance. As the basic tendencies creating necessary foundations for the patriotic education perfection in conditions of the Russian society being renovated the following directions are marked out: social life democratization; civil society becoming, striving to Russian citizens´ social protection guarantee; priority of national rebirth idea; facing regional and features; influence of the international culture on the formation of a citizen; intensification of attention to positive experience of training a patriot in the history of native pedagogical idea, etc.
The concept content of "patriotism" includes the following components: love to Motherland, native places, native tongue, respect to the past of one´s Motherland, traditions and customs of one´s people, knowledge of Motherland history, understanding problems facing the country and the ties of patriotism; respect to other peoples, their customs and culture, intolerance to racial and nationalist enmity, striving to provide honour and dignity of Motherland, respect to the army and readiness to defend Motherland; readiness to serve Motherland interests, active and conscious participation in labour activity at the combination of personal and social interests.
Patriotic education has historical roots. In spite of the ideological hesitations the patriot formation problem remains relatively stable in any nation. Moreover, many educational work forms connected with the formation of a patriot are coming back to practice already and being transformed into more concrete forms of work in the new conditions.
And now it is topical to prevent the discontinuity of moral and ethical bonds between the elder and the younger in the process of patriotic and civil becoming of the new generation.
The problem of patriotism had been the subject of constant attention for the period of the whole centuries-long history of the native pedagogical idea. A great spiritual potential of the patriotic topic finds its origin in the written and oral creations of Ancient Russia. This topic created by generations of our compatriots was developed as a whole complex of ideas rendering moral and organizing influence on the social life of the Russian Nation. It was interpreted as follows: the idea of Fatherland unity and concord, the idea of dear land defence, the idea of Homeland, the idea of moral obligation before the society, the idea of liability for Motherland destinies. It conditioned its special place in the spiritual life of the Russian society.
The present-day situation of the Russian society development is evaluated as a recessionary one, that is connected, in terms of the younger generation education, with the loss of moral orienting points. Under the circumstances the appeal to the idea of patriotism can become that very axiological foundation, whereon the formation and development of the personality of a Russian citizen is really possible. But to achieve the intended effect - the formation of the personality of a Russian citizen and patriot - it is necessary to eliminate primary causes of schoolchildren´s depatriotization and create conditions for the development of a new system of patriotic education.
The formation of a patriot, patriotic qualities, as a possible purpose of education has a range of advantages on the following directions:
- patriotic education has historical roots. In spite of the ideological hesitations the patriot formation problem remains relatively stable in any nation. Moreover, many educational work forms connected with the formation of a patriot characterized by an aggregate of socially meaningful purposes are coming back to practice already and being transformed into more concrete forms of work in the new conditions;
- the idea of patriotism, social importance of patriotic qualities, remains one of the foundational ones for any state, it is also a part of the international community foundation, as people are united not only by the love for their native country, but by panhuman and common values;
- the idea of patriotism should be perceived as a non-national idea also, for there are practically no states in the world with a hundred-per-cent mono-national population. All this means that the idea of "patriot" in this case appears as sort of a cementing force, warrantor of oneness and power of the state, protection criterion of the personality itself.
Several determinations and comprehensions are frequently used today: patriotic education, patriotic qualities formation, patriotic activity. By patriotic education we mean a specially organized purposeful process of formation of stable patriotic qualities characterizing the personality of a school child as the subject of moral and political, economic intercourses in the national public education. The formation of patriotic qualities - is a process and, to some extent, the result of patriotic education, whereby the development of personality´s stable peculiar features aimed at the definition of its relations with the state and society, definition of its place within the system of these relations, occur.
The work was submitted to international scientific conference «Basic and applied research. Education, economics and law», September, 9-16, 2008, Italy (Rome, Florence), came to the editorial office on 17.07.2008.