Methods Mini-Course


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Religious Neutrality: Teaching in a Pluralistic  Classroom

A classroom climate of religious neutrality is vital if public schools are to provide a just and equitable public education for all youngsters, irrespective of the many worldview differences in our increasingly diverse nation. 

This mini-course serves as self-instruction to help any teacher create a more respectful and just classroom for student learning.  No matter what your subject matter domain or age level focus may be, if you are a classroom teacher, we hope you will work through the material (outline is below).  And, if you know of a teacher or methods instructor or in-service workshop instructor who might be interested in this mini-course, then please let him/her know about it. 


Lesson 1, Gearing up for Neutrality


Lesson 2, Your Way / Other Ways


Lesson 3, Diversity & Demographics (USA)


Lesson 4, Grounding Yourself

Note that this series of lessons is designed to serve in-service and pre-service public school teachers with online instruction.  The goal is to enable them to develop and maintain religiously neutral classrooms.  The lessons can be of use to any educator, and they will be of special interest to those who are teaching about religion. 

College and university methods instructors are encouraged to incorporate this online mini-course as part of their Methods of Teaching History/Social Science, or in other suitable Methods of Teaching classes for prospective classroom teachers.  Instructors of in-service teacher workshops related to such topics as "religion and the schools," "teaching about religion," and "religious liberty" (in civic education or character education) may find the material applicable in their instructional programs.  Administrators and certain school staff too will benefit from learning the principles and strategies presented in the lessons. 

Mini-Course Prerequisites

Know how to use your browser's BACK button (to return to the previous page) and its PRINT button (to print the current page).


Lesson Structure






Knowledge Goals


Attitude Goals


Learning Strategies


Testing Your Knowledge (lessons 1-3)


Continuation Activities


Putting Your Knowledge to Work in the Classroom


Sharing Your Materials


Materials Bank

We welcome you to use or review these lessons.  
We also invite you to let us know how we might improve these lessons to better serve your needs.

Project Director:  Paul Geisert (Ph.D., Instructional Systems)

Lead Instructional Developer Mynga Futrell (Ph.D., Curriculum & Instruction).  Note: Dr. Futrell also served as sole or lead author for numerous segments.  If there has been alternate or co-authorship, this fact is noted within the specific portion of the mini-course.

Religion Consultant Gerald A. Larue, Emeritus Professor of Biblical History and Archaeology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles

Religious Neutrality: Teaching in a Pluralistic Classroom (a mini-course) is copyrighted 2002 by Instructional Systems.


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Instructional Systems, 163418 Fort Sutter Station, Sacramento, CA 95816


Last updated 8/18/2006

OABITAR is a 501(c)(3)  non-profit educational organization.

All materials developed by Instructional Systems are copyright 2002,3,4,5,6. Please contact I.S. to arrange for free duplication privileges.