Gearing up for Neutrality
Steps in Learning Strategy
Testing Your Knowledge
Putting Your Knowledge to Work in the Classroom
Sharing Your Materials
For U.S. public schools, neutrality regarding religion is a legal
notion. So, when you work in a public school, religious neutrality is one of your prime
responsibilities. The aim is to provide a religiously neutral
for your students.
What would this mean in practice? In short, it means this: whatever the
religious diversity within your classroom, you keep everybody on a
level playing field.
In your classroom, you will provide just and equitable treatment
to all your students whatever their particular positions in the worldview
kaleidoscope may be. Just as importantly, all the students will exhibit the same
degree of respect and fairness with each other.
This is not going to be as easy as it may seem at first glance. So
let's get started. This lesson lays some groundwork.
Become attuned to an educator's responsibility for
with the underlying rationale and necessity for educator neutrality
- Record your initial conception of religious neutrality (activity)
- Learn three concepts that underlie the theme of Lesson 1
- Study a two-part informational reading, Aiming for Neutrality
- Revise your understanding as necessary (activity)
- Check feedback on activities
Go to the Test Review and look at the statements that guide your review. Each statement
is identified by relevant steps in the learning strategy.
Are you comfortable you can demonstrate your
understanding? If not, restudy as necessary until you are confident.
Go to the Test to take Test
1, then print out your answers.
Go to the Self-Check
page and check your
TERMS: religious neutrality \\ religiously
neutral \\ neutral \\ worldview
Some Interesting Options for Your Consideration:
First Amendment, source
documents and notations.
and Education in a Democracy Resources for Conversations", resource
listing arranged in Q/(A) format; updated.
This extensive resource listing by
Robert Merikangas, MLS., Ph.D. was originally prepared in connection with the
conference: Teaching for Diversity, Unity, and Human Values: An
Tolerance, site supporting educators.
Site founded in 1991 by the Southern Poverty Law Center supports efforts of K-12 teachers and other educators to
promote respect for differences and appreciation of diversity and serve as a clearinghouse of information about anti-bias
programs and activities being implemented in schools across the country.
Web: ERIC Lesson
Bill of Rights is for Us Today, Grade levels 6-9.
Description: "A bill of rights is needed in a
free society in order to protect the rights of the individual from abuses by
the government. Government rarely acts against the interests of the
majority, and often the beneficiary of a specific decision is one of the
minority. Yet, the entire society benefits from the protection of minority
rights. Oftentimes protecting the minority causes great controversy, but
each person benefits ultimately. We are all a part of some minority, whether
it be race, religion, economics, political beliefs, or social beliefs. We
all need our individual rights protected."
Web: ERIC Lesson
and Discrimination, Grade levels 6-12.
Description: "This is an
activity geared to helping students understand some of what it feels
like to be picked out
and experience discrimination and prejudices that are so apparent in our
Have you prepared any lesson plans, activities, bulletin board materials,
handouts, etc. of your own that would match one or more of the
goals of this lesson? Please share them with others. Your name will be attached to the materials unless you prefer to
Send Your Lesson
Teacher-Prepared Classroom Materials. No lessons have been submitted yet—you
can be the first.