Different Drummers: Nonconforming Thinkers in History
is an exciting set of professionally developed instructional materials that will complement current approaches for teaching about religion in the public schools. The materials promote academic objectivity and balance in such endeavors by focusing on the topic of free and independent thought in historical context. The varied teaching and learning materials in the Different Drummers supplemental module
(grades 6-12) acquaint teachers and students with aspects of unconventional and unorthodox thinking and with some of the important "different drummers" of prior times. With respect to worldviews, Different Drummers
materials speak to such relevant concepts as discrimination, autonomy, plurality, freedom of conscience, and societal change.
These unique materials, designed and authored for use in middle and high school grades history and social science programs by Drs. Mynga Futrell and Paul Geisert, were produced in a two-year curriculum development project in California. The lessons and activities have been teacher reviewed, classroom tested, and then revised on the basis of their pilot testing with students. The module has been approved for legal compliance with respect to social content by the California State Department of Education. The content review was conducted by Dr. Gerald Larue, Emeritus Professor of Biblical History and Archaeology at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.
For additional professional information on these materials, call Instructional Systems at 1-800-666-9796
Paul Geisert, Ph.D. and Mynga Futrell, Ph.D. are the developers of the "Teaching about Religion with a View to Diversity" Web site at www.teachingaboutreligion.org This website, "Teaching about Religion with a View to Diversity," serves classroom teachers and other educators who focus on religion in curriculum of U.S. public schools. The site emphasizes a pluralistic society and offers a variety of materials on the topic of teaching about religion and nonreligion, including lessons, links, background information, and position statements.
Drs. Futrell and Geisert are instructional designers who work together as a team. Included in their accomplishments are two texts in the field of using computers to teach, being proprietors of a computer training center in Sacramento California, the design and production of newsletters in the field of alcohol and drug prevention and rehabilitation, and other projects, especially the development of instructional materials.
These authors have a broad background in the design, development, and implementation of learning systems. Both have advanced degrees in curriculum and instruction, Geisert's background is in biological science, computer-based instruction and school evaluation. He has employed his knowledge and skills in the development of diverse instructional programs and materials within both the academic and business worlds. Futrell has a background in physical science and science education. She has worked at the college level with teachers and professors in the design of course materials in the role of consultant as well as the instructional design expert for text and videotape productions. Together Geisert and Futrell have authored a number of articles and books on topics in instructional development, including the 3rd edition of Teachers, Computers, and Curriculum, published by Allyn and Bacon, and Different Drummers: Nonconforming Thinkers in History, a set of supplemental instructional materials to augment teaching about religion.