Consciousness refers to the act of finding out something, realizing something, discovering something, feeling something, or being sensitive to or sentient of something (Ryle, 2009). The term is synonymous with awareness. It is seen as “the state of being conscious, that is, the physical and mental state of being awake and fully aware of one’s environment, thoughts, and feelings” (Allen, 1994, p. 288). It could also be defined as the intangible awareness of being and necessary belongingness to the world of existence (Ozumba, 2014).

The word national means anything that relates to a particular country and its people. It may refer to someone or something that belongs to a specific country or nation.

When we combine the terms, national consciousness can be defined as a shared sense of identity within a particular nation, a sense of belongingness and membership. This is often manifested through ethnicity, language, values, customs, culture, and history. National consciousness takes many forms. It can be political participation through voting. It can be civic engagement through community work. It can even take the form of simple everyday tasks, such as helping those around you or being aware of what is happening in the neighborhood. It is an important component in the concept of nation-building.

In this module, we will learn what it means to be nationally conscious, how we can be nationally conscious, its influence on the nation-state, and its continued effect in the world around us.

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Key Terms

  • Nation – a stable community of people formed on the basis of common language, culture, territory, history, and ethnicity. Described as an imagined community (Anderson, 1983) that was socially constructed and imagined by the people who perceived themselves to be part of said community.
  • State – the political organization of society or body politic, often identified with the institutions of government. It is distinguished from other social groupings through its purposes such as the establishment of control, the maintenance of order, its promulgation/enforcement of laws, and sovereignty over a specific territory.
  • Citizenship – The status in which a person is recognized under laws and jurisdiction of a specific country. Part of the privileges that a citizen enjoys are recognition of their civil, political, and social rights.
  • Nationalism – An ideology that is premised upon an individual’s loyalty and devotion to the nation-state, surpassing any individual or group interests (Kohn, 2020).
  • Patriotism – The feeling of love, devotion, and attachment to one’s homeland as well as to people who share the same sentiments. These feelings may have an ethnic, cultural, political, and historical aspects.
  • Country – A distinct territorial body or political entity. The land of an individual’s birth, residence, or citizenship. It may be an independent sovereign state or part of a larger one (Jones, 1964)
  • Culture – The social behavior and norms found in human societies, it includes the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, customs, capabilities, and habits of the individuals belonging to these groups (Tylor, 1871).
  • Civic Engagement/Participation – Activities that address issues of public concern (Delli, 2016). These include working together collectively or as individuals in order to protect public values or implement changes in the community. Its goals are to address public concerns and improve the community.

Module Standards

Most Essential Learning Competencies (MELC):

  • Explain the context, content, processes, and consequences of socialization
  • Analyze the forms and functions of social organizations

Content Standards

  • How individuals learn culture and become competent members of society.
  • How individuals should behave as part of a political community.

Performance Standards

  • Identify norms and values to be observed in interacting with others in society, and the consequences of ignoring these rules.
  • Assess the rules of social interaction to maintain the stability of everyday life, and the role of innovation in response to problems and challenges.

Lesson 1: Manifestations of National Consciousness

The 1987 Philippine Constitution defines the Philippines as all the islands, waters, and territories to which the Philippine state has sovereignty and jurisdiction. It defines that Filipinos are those who were born in the Philippines, those born to a Filipino citizen, or those who were naturalized by law.

However, the meaning of being Filipino goes beyond legal definitions. It encompasses numerous feelings, values, and sentiments. José Rizal is often depicted as the ideal Filipino. Heroic, self-sacrificing, prolific, responsible -, everything that a Filipino could aspire to be. To many of us, emulating the hero appears as an insurmountable task. In this lesson, we will try to find the “Filipino” in our own unique way.

Lesson Objectives

The learners should be able to:

  • Define key terms such as nation, state, culture, nationalism, and patriotism substantially
  • Describe the differences between nation, state, nationalism, and patriotism
  • Interpret the nuances behind each concept (Ex. nation vs. state, nationalism vs patriotism)
  • Identify the benefits of being nationally conscious, the consequences of the lack and excess of it
  • Reflect on the intersection of national consciousness and everyday life

Lecture Proper

The teacher conducts a lecture pertaining to the lesson at hand. The teacher is encouraged to make use of PowerPoint or other visual aids. The teacher may conduct it as purely lecture-based or through a seminar format where the teacher will involve the students in the discussion.

Reference Materials

Allen, J. (1994). If this is history, why isn’t it boring? In S. Steffey and W. J. Hood (Eds.), If this is social studies, why isn’t it boring? (pp. 1-12). New York, MA: Stenhouse.

Delli, M. (2009). Civic Engagement. APA.Org. American Psychological Association, n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2016.

Kohn, H. (2020, November 28). Nationalism. Encyclopedia Britannica.


Tylor, E. (2010). Primitive Culture: Researches into the Development of Mythology, Philosophy, Religion, Art, and Custom (Cambridge Library Collection – Anthropology). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/CBO9780511705960.

Suggested Readings

Anderson, B (1983). Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origins and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso.

Arcilla, J. (1999). Introduction to Philippine History. Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press.

De la Costa, H. (1992). Readings on Philippine History: Selected Historical Texts presented with Commentary. Makati City: Bookmark Inc.

Video Materials

Giridharadas, Aksobh. “Idea of a Nation State: What Makes a Country?” April 19, 2019. TED video, 15:34.

List of Activities

Synchronous Activities

KWL Questions

  • This activity will measure the knowledge of the student with respect to the topic at hand. What does the student already know? What does the student want to know? What did the student learn after discussing the lesson?
  • Ex. Instruct the students to bring out a pen and paper. The teacher will flash key concepts such as values, customs, practices or experiences that are associated with being Filipino. The student will list the top three words that they associate with the given concept. Ask the students why they chose the words they gave.

Reflection Sharing

  • With their new knowledge, the teacher asks the students to list down instances or actions where they feel that they are part of the Filipino nation. The teacher asks what led them to their answers.


  • Situational analysis through a class debate. As a new voter in the upcoming 2022 national elections, you are given the unique opportunity of deciding the next set of leaders of this country. You are given two choices. One candidate has an established track record spanning several decades. His experience and qualities have made him an established character in national politics. The caveat is that he is part of a political dynasty. The second is an up-and-coming character in the political scene. His successful leadership in local governance has made him a promising new leader.
  • As a new voter, who should you choose as the nation’s next President?

Asynchronous Activities

Movie Review

  • Require the students to watch the films Heneral Luna and Goyo (They may choose one movie to critique or they can review the two movies as a whole). Provide guide questions.
  • Sample Guide Questions:
    1. How did national consciousness play in the plot of the movies? Pay special attention to the main characters (Luna, Del Pilar, Aguinaldo, Mabini, Joven), critique them based on what you have learned about patriotism and nationalism. How did flaws factor in their conception of their own national consciousness?
    2. Give your opinion on the scene that depicted the Igorots and their treatment by Filipino Republican Army. What insights can you draw on their relationship with the Filipinos and the Americans? Is a nation homogenous or heterogenous? Was Januario Galut (the guide who helped the Americans defeat Del Pilar) a traitor or did he have a different conception of nation, or was he simply caught between two competing nations that he does not identify with?

Lesson 2: Nationalism: Pros and Cons

National consciousness is an important component in nation-building. It promotes important values such as national unity, the pursuit of sustainable development, love for country, and respect for human rights, culture, religion, diversity, and the environment. Too much national consciousness can lead to hyper-nationalism, where the interests of a specific nation outweigh the dignity of others. The rise of Asian hate crimes targeting Filipinos in the United States is an example of this. In this lesson, we will learn to balance the responsibilities of being nationally conscious and the excesses that it produces.

Lesson Objectives

The learners should be able to:

  • Identify and reflect on the advantages and disadvantages of varying interpretations of nationalism
  • Relate learnings to historical phenomena and current events

Lecture Proper

The teacher conducts a lecture pertaining to the lesson at hand. The teacher is encouraged to make use of PowerPoint or other visual aids. The teacher may conduct it as purely lecture-based or through a seminar format where the teacher will involve the students in the discussion.

Reference Materials

Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Nazism.” Encyclopedia Britannica, November 12, 2020.

Smedley, Audrey. “Racism.” Encyclopedia Britannica, August 21, 2020.

Video Materials

BBC Ideas. “Orientalism and Power: When Will We Stop Stereotyping People?” April 30, 2019. YouTube Video, 3:16.

Gendler, Alex, and Anthony Hazard. “How Did Hitler Rise Into Power?” July 18, 2016. YouTube Video, 5:36.

Implicitly Pretentious. “The Sociology of JoJo Rabbit.” February 29, 2020. YouTube Video, 10:05.

List of Activities

Synchronous Activities


  • Is it enough to be nationally conscious by simply participating in the electoral process? Follow-up question: Provide instances in your everyday life that you feel are reflective of being nationally conscious

Situational Analysis

  • Scenario: The school’s student government elections are coming. In order for the results to be considered valid, a certain threshold of votes must be achieved. The student body prefers to abstain believing that the student government has no relevance in their lives. How should you address this apathy?

Asynchronous Activities

Movie Reflection

  • Watch the film JoJo Rabbit. Using the concepts learned in the lecture, write a reflection paper on the important issues raised by the film.
  • Guide questions:
    1. How does the film show the interaction of innocence and ideology? Relate this to your own experience in seeing fake news in social media.
    2. What is notable about the tone of the film? How did it make you feel?
    3. What insights can you draw between the relationship of JoJo and Elsa?
    4. How did the movie show our humanity?

Lesson 3: Development of National Consciousness

Developing a national consciousness is a continuous process. The most common and effective method is through civic engagement/participation. Checkoway and Aldana (2013) define civic engagement/participation as a process in which the people take collective action to address issues of public concern. It is instrumental to a lively democracy. In this lesson, we will discover the different ways in which we can exercise our national consciousness.

Lesson Objectives

The learners should be able to:

  • Understand the growth of national consciousness
  • Identify other manifestations of national consciousness and determine how to take part in significant activities relevant to the building of national consciousness

Lecture Proper

The teacher conducts a lecture pertaining to the lesson at hand. The teacher is encouraged to make use of PowerPoint or other visual aids. The teacher may conduct it as purely lecture-based or through a seminar format where the teacher will involve the students in the discussion.

Reference Materials

Checkoway, B. & Aldana, A. (2013). Four forms of youth civic engagement for diverse democracy. Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(11), pp. 1894-1899.

Video Materials

“Basagan ng Trip with Leloy Claudio: Why Political Participation Matters.” January 25, 2018. YouTube Video, 13:00.

“Basagan ng Trip with Leloy Claudio: Choosing Among Imperfect Candidates.” January 31, 2019. YouTube Video, 11:44.

“Restoring Youth Civic Engagement/Noah Tesfaye/TEDxLAHS.” April 20, 2019. YouTube Video, 9:12.

Khan Academy. “Civic Engagement/Citizenship/Highschool Civics/Khan Academy.” September 2, 2020. YouTube Video, 2:50.


List of Activities

Synchronous Activities

Critical Thinking Exercise

  • Prior to meeting for class, the teacher instructs the students to browse different outlets of information (i.e. newspapers, online news portals, YouTube videos, blogs, etc.). The students must pick one news from a reputable source (mainstream papers, mainstream news portals) and one from alternative media (independent news, vloggers, Facebook posters, etc.). The students will discuss the merits of their chosen pieces in class. How was the news presented in these various media? How were the stories selected? What were the sources? Commentaries? Tone? Biases? How can we distinguish which are credible?

Asynchronous Activities

Letter Writing Activity

  • Compose a letter addressed to either your LGU, National Government, Business and Community leaders, or NGOs. Write about something in the community or society that you feel particularly strong about. What kind of solutions or recommendations would you like to share with the recipient? How would you convince them to adopt your cause as their own?