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Instructional Focus

The Different Drummers lessons, stories and activities, and associated teacher materials address concepts and attitudes related to nonconforming thought and its place in society and history.  Major concept domains are: 

bulletconformity and nonconformity 
bulletattributes of free and independent thinkers
bulletseriously nonconforming views and their consequences

You will find teacher strategies to guide students in analyzing stories and in varied classroom and extension activities that reach specific learning goals.  Youngsters scrutinize historical situations and contemporary conventions (e.g., celebrities, fashions, peer expectations).  They engage in unique and creative writing and reporting endeavors (using dialogs, inventing web pages, diaries, poems). 

Benefit to Students

Learning about all sorts of "different thinkers" helps students to understand and respect freedom of conscience and other rights belonging to others.  

bulletThey can see the necessity for upholding in our pluralistic nation its constitutional guarantee of freedom of conscience
bulletThey can learn to appreciate their own freedom to reason independently and to see things differently from their peers
bulletThey can grow in forbearance and in their capacity to be indulgent of those who hold convictions unlike their own

Benefits for Teachers

bulletThe selection of varied thinkers (e.g., Socrates, Confucius, Cady Stanton, Galileo, Descartes, Twain), issues, and source quotations supports world history curricula
bulletU.S. history teachers will appreciate the module's emphasis on the importance of "different thinking" to our own nation's founding principles, particularly its separation of church and state, and its constitutional freedom for free and even irreverent speech.
bulletThe spectrum of historical examples can help a teacher to achieve academic and impartial treatment of religion.

Instructional Versatility

Different Drummers is highly useful for teaching about religion.  The professionally developed instructional materials further any teacher's capacity to conduct objective, accurate, and balanced lessons about religion and its role in history and society.  Dealing impartially and academically with this subject matter means considering nonconformity to religion (or to a religious worldview), along with the conventional outlook. 

Using DD, a teacher acquires means to handle other sorts of unorthodoxy--in science, or in politics, as well as in religion.  And because the material explores nonconformist attributes of varied sorts of thinkers in history, it may augment curriculum areas even beyond these domains.  The lessons and activities address the risks and benefits of nonconformist thought and action not only for the unconventional thinkers, but also for the societies in which they dwell, and for posterity.    

The material is particularly useful for teachers who concentrate on human individuality, on critical and independent thinking, or on individual heroic actions, whether in contemporary or historical context.  Portions of DD   are suited to addressing issues of teen peer pressure and varied consequences of unconventional personal attire or behavior. 

 

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Instructional Systems, Fort Sutter Station P.O. 163418, Sacramento, CA 95816

Email: OABITAR@aol.com

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Last Updated 5/15/2005

Supported by OABITAR (Objectivity, Accuracy, and Balance In Teaching About Religion)
    a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization