Different Drummers: Nonconforming Thinkers in History
A versatile set of supplemental instructional materials designed with
worldview diversity in mind. Most portions of the complete module are
available free on line (all materials are available as .PDF files). Varied
concept lessons and story lessons specifically acknowledge nonconformist
thinking on important matters (science, politics, religion) and can aid public
school teachers to achieve greater objectivity and balance in their teaching
about diverse worldviews. The module focuses on unconventional and
unorthodox thinking in general, with special emphasis on nonconformity
regarding religion [nonreligion]. The lessons and activities (for grades 6-12)
were teacher-reviewed and pilot tested in social studies classrooms.
The stated goals of the materials are:
- To cultivate students' respect for people’s freedom to think freely and
hold unfamiliar or dissimilar religious and philosophical beliefs.
- To increase students’ awareness of the great diversity of human thought.
- To foster students’ commitment to safeguarding within society personal
independence of thought and freedom for both religious and naturalistic
The Bill of Rights Institute
The Institute is focused on educating about our country’s founding principles
(exploring what the Founders said and the founding documents say, and
how these ideas affect our daily lives and shape our society). Among its
materials that relate to the goals of teaching about religion with a view to
diversity are many highly relevant free lesson plans and ideas.
Selected Lesson Plans on the Web
Lesson plans available free on the Web. These lessons were selected to
support, in one way or another, this site's educational commitment to
national pluralism and to appropriate civic acknowledgement of worldview
The Teacher’s Press
Assorted teaching materials for sale, although there are free items, too.
Developed by two expert teachers from Riverside-Brookfield Public High
School, Riverside, Illinois, the materials are perhaps a little rough from the
viewpoint of professional design; nevertheless they have abundant good
ideas with a critical thinking bent. On site, go to the “The Content” page and
review the topics, especially “Thinking Logically,” “Thinking about Religion
(from a Global Perspective),” “Prejudice in Group Relations,” “The
Decalogue: Bible Scholarship for Use Today, and “Thinking about the
An extensive set of short quotations relating to three major categories.
Very brief quoted matter is useful as raw material for certain themes and for
guiding or enriching students’ learning experiences.
- Religion and Public Education
- Religious Liberty and Nonreligion
- Religious Pluralism and a Civil Society
Teaching About Religion
in support of civic pluralism