Obedience and Defiance: The Rule of Law in American History

byJeffrey Clay Joyce


This unit will be useful for both an American history class and an American government class. It is likely that I will be using some variety of the unit for both, although I intend this for the Advanced Placement courses that I teach. The unit is meant for students on the high school level. The unit itself deals with the obedience and defiance of Americans to the rule of law over the course of our history. Specifically, it is designed to require students to absorb the arguments presented in our history through research that will culminate in a role play exercise. The long and the short of my rationale for this particular exercise is that it provokes students into inquiring about prominent moments and figures in our nations history while concurrently tapping into talents many of them possess (I teach at a visual and performing arts magnet school). My hope is that students will not only gather important information to our understanding of American history but also enrich themselves artistically through the time honored art of dramatic presentation.

Background Information

I think it would be worthwhile at this juncture to clearly distinguish my students from others. I teach at an arts magnet, as previously mentioned. This may seem, on the face of it, insignificant, but it makes a tremendous difference in the type of student I might have the occasion to teach. The students at Northwest School of the Arts are very serious art students. They have to complete an audition in order to be considered for acceptance and subsequently enter a lottery of applicants. Accordingly we are very lucky to have a population of students who are dedicated to enhancing their artistic talents and improving their overall academic quality. This means, in my perspective, that any consideration of their arts interests is an asset to me as a social studies teacher. Hence, I make every attempt to create situations in my class that allow for an exploration into the various arts programs. This unit should accomplish that very objective.

There is one important caveat here, and that is that my school is fairly small. The senior and junior classes combined are normally about 250 students. Thus my AP classes are generally quite small, somewhere in the range of 12 to 18 students. And so I believe this unit fits neatly into that population. I am sure that it may be used for a greater number of students but the topics described herein would have to be dramatically expanded. For now I will give an explanation as to why I think the role play is a worthwhile endeavor then describe the way the general objectives of the exercise will work followed by an exploration into both the types of history one might consider in implementing this unit and a brief discussion of what social psychologists have given us in the way of scholarship on human obedience and defiance.


Like many teachers, the routine for my first day of class with new students is to explain the various rules that will be essential to their success in my class. These, of course, range from the standard procedures for in class discussions to the process by which any student might be allowed to visit the restroom during normal class hours. Logically, these rules have very little meaning or power in and of themselves, but rather, depend on some level of enforcement to make them viable. My ability to do so is crucial to the success of said rules or regulations. This often takes on an interesting dynamic. For instance, I have found it far easier to command high school students than middle school. For some reason my "Great Santini" impression does little to strike fear into the hearts of these very young, very small people. I also have historically much more success with boys than girls. Girls are regularly able to convince me that they have special rights to skirt the rules, no pun intended, and that I can hardly be serious about any restriction that would impinge upon their freedoms in the class. If it sounds ridiculous, it most certainly is ridiculous.

The lesson of this very common human situation is that it can be a means to discovery when thinking about the history of the United States. The penchant for adolescent rebellion occurring in students all over this great nation is strongly akin to a basic human propensity found over much of history. It has often been the case that people have found reason to question authority, and at times, rise up against it. But it is also true that there have been rules and laws that were put into place to control large groups of people that were openly accepted. In fact, we could say with great deal of validity that students as a general population are more likely to adhere to, than repudiate, school rules.

Indeed, there has been some recent scholarship on this issue. Jared Diamond discusses at length in his Pulitzer Prize winning book Guns Germs and Steel the concept of kleptocracy. The idea is that as populations grew in various places around the world so grew the need to establish a system of government that would tax, or take from its people, and then work to control various aspects of a given society. And people from East Asia to South America accepted many different forms of control considering rules and regulations as essential to their own security and prosperity. These lessons seem immediately important to a group of adolescents who, though existing within a far different historical context, are experiencing a very similar circumstance. Without a doubt we all must accept, deny, or at the very least consider, the rule of law and its application to our daily lives.

Given all of this, I suppose that the obvious question then is what prompts some students to obey the rules or laws or to disobey them? More importantly for my classes is to begin to understand the significance of the arguments that have been made in our country's past that have encouraged people to rise up against the law, or the powers attempting to enforce laws, and what variables have combined to convince people to conform to the law? One important clarification at this point: we must understand it is philosophically abject to think that conformity and non conformity aren't part of the same game. In other words, if one decides to deviate from one social, economic, political, or religious standard, he or she is most likely conforming to another. That does not mean however, that it is either the most popular or practical path and therefore can be determined to be greatly revolutionary in nature. This rather difficult proposition is the focus of my unit.


This exercise will include several parts and is constructed so that the whole of the unit will take a great deal of the year to complete since it will reoccur on the prescribed occasions over the course of our study.

  1. Students will be allowed to choose from 7 topics.
    1. To be or not to be: An American Revolution.
    2. Federalism and the French Revolution: the question of nullification.
    3. Jackson and the Cherokee: a new democracy in action.
    4. The Lincoln Douglas Debates.
    5. The Voice of the people: labor unions and the courts.
    6. Debs the Red Menace: Espionage and Sedition in America.
    7. Civil Rights Legislation: fulfilling an American promise.
  2. Within those topics, students will choose one of two sides in a given argument. For example students could either choose to be a member of the so called high federalists (Alexander Hamilton) during the Adams administration who rationalized the need for the Alien and Sedition Acts or James Madison or Thomas Jefferson who authored the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions which proposed to nullify the laws from topic number two above.
  3. Students will then be asked to complete a series of tasks: First, students should complete a short biographical sketch of the their historical figure...it should include birth and childhood information, educational background, and pertinent information leading to said person's rise to prominence. Second, the student should outline with some detail the person's opinion with regard to the law or series of laws under consideration. Most pointedly, the student must be concerned with finding primary information that will allow them to articulate properly the argument that their chosen figure made within the context of the given situation. It is to be an accurate account, with some predictably necessary editorial, of the actual argument. In other words, for the example above the student might use the text of the Alien and Sedition Acts but also look for written information from perhaps Alexander Hamilton in which he gives support to the idea of having those laws in place. The student would then give an oral presentation reflecting the combination of all of this material in an argumentative style.
  4. One pitfall in creating assignments like this one is the possibility that, since it requires work from only two students, I may exclude the rest of the class. With this in mind, I have developed a means to not only include every one in the activity but to do so in two distinct ways. Each student will be required to take notes during the debate in a separate section of their notebooks where they will compile material given to them by their classmates over the course of the year. At years' end students will be asked to use that material to answer the following essay prompt: Over the course of American History have the people of this nation been a defiant rebellious sort or a compliant and conformist group: express the validity of your position with historical evidence. Also, for each individual role play exercise I will give students a correlative assignment specific to the historical period in question. For example after the debate over English taxing policies prior to the revolutionary war I might ask students to subsequently complete an annotated timeline of 6 or 7 important events that eventually led to America's declaration of independence (see appendix D number 4). Using these methods I create some assurance for myself that the class is moving in harmony toward our disciplinary goals.

Obedience and Defiance in American History

The history of mankind is rich with examples of rebellion, insurrection, and outright revolution. It is no profound statement to say that as humans have evolved in their perspective toward governance, there has often been provocation of the governed to shake off their shackles and defy the political order. But the question for us as students and teachers of history is what conditions led to such outbursts and what was the outcome if there was a confrontation? Undeniably, it is academically worth considering whether we have on balance been an obedient or defiant people since the dawn of western civilization. But for my purposes, and the sake of clarity, we should scale this question down to a discussion of United States history. What follows is an exploration into a couple of examples of the type of historical situations that can be used by students to complete the aforementioned task.

Obviously, we can begin with the American Revolution. During the period after the French and Indian War, in the early 1760's, British Parliament began to set hefty regulations on their American colonies in order to both prevent future conflicts and to recover much of the debt created by the war. Among the rules was a prohibition of colonial settlement west of the Appalachian mountains, the Proclamation of 1763, and the strict enforcement of a series of commercial regulations referred to as the Navigation Acts. There were also a series of taxes that included a levy on sugar from the West Indies and a provision that required the use of a stamp on various paper products. The reaction by colonial leaders was severe. The Stamp Act was especially important in that it led to the first successful colonial union. The Stamp Act Congress, consisting of nine delegates from various colonies, met in New York in October of 1765 and after short deliberation agreed that the so-called "virtual representation" parliament supplied was less than sufficient. We can, with some validity, conclude that the colonial political elite had become accustomed to governing themselves and were hoping to assert their authority as the practical equals of their parliamentary counterparts. Most of us know the rest of the story, as Paul Harvey might say. The colonial leadership attempted to reconcile with the Prime Minister (there were several) and King George III, via the Olive Branch Petition, unsuccessfully, resulting in the American independence movement that culminated in the war against Britain beginning in 1776. This, we might say, was our first and most significant act of defiance to the rule of law.

However, there were many who resisted the independence movement. This was no seamless issue. The loyalist faction was especially strong in the South for both blacks and whites. Many slaves figured loyalty to the crown as a means for possible emancipation, whereas a great deal of the agrarian south was, despite any taxing policy, handsomely rewarded for trade of raw materials to the mother land and saw no need in biting the hand that fed them. Also, there were high ranking political leaders who felt that rebellion would have been a futile effort. After all, the English armed forces were considered one of the most powerful in the world while the colonies had very little at their disposal to combat them.

This is the perfect spot for a class's first debate. There is obviously a wealth of material that one might use. For this unit I will ask that each student sift through all that is available and then choose one particular character who they believe best represents their side of the argument. In this case the representative for the rebellious colonists could be, for example, Thomas Jefferson or Thomas Paine, Patrick Henry or John Hancock. The loyalist could then be someone like Charles Inglis, a well known New York clergyman who wrote many an editorial retort to Paine's Common Sense remarks. But our analysis of the situation should not end here.

I believe it will be important for students to then do two conjunctive activities. First they should determine the outcome of the debate. In other words, they should choose whether or not the people within some given historical context chose defiance or obedience, and then subsequently explain what events took place that helped lead them to one of those conclusions (see the objectives section above, number 4). In our historical example, we know that the colonists in fact did declare independence and fought the English in a revolutionary war between 1776 and 1783. In addition, I think it is a worthwhile intellectual exercise to then weigh the outcome against some criteria for understanding the concepts of conformity. Was this action ultimately a revolutionary and deviant one (again see objectives section, number 4, italicized prompt)? To be clear, let's explore this just a bit.

Accordingly, our founding fathers sought to distinguish the new America from the old. The Articles of Confederation as established by the Second Continental Congress hoped to codify the revolutionary spirit. The central government had virtually no power at all. Taxing was to be voluntary for the States. Each established its own trade rules with others and its own currency. The armies of each State maintained internal security. And amendment to these general rules required a unanimous vote, a relative impossibility. These rules were miserably ineffective and so the promise of an egalitarian future that the revolution provided was unable to be sustained, at least not through this body of rules. The Second Continental Congress recognized the weaknesses of the Articles and called a convention to draw up a more powerful set of rules and regulations. The new Constitution created a central government with sufficient powers to oversee the states and combine them into one unified political entity, not greatly different from the parliamentary system from which these same founding fathers had preached secession. In light of these developments then, could we conclude that the revolutionary war was not an act of complete defiance but merely a means to an end for the colonial elite who sought a change in membership to the ruling class? This is not just an appropriate question for an Advanced Placement history class but is one that students must ask themselves when completing the cumulative writing prompt listed in the objectives section above.

At this point I would like to investigate one more historical example with a more contemporary context and with a slightly different bend. In 1964 and 1965 President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts respectively forever sealing the federal government's role in bringing an end to institutionalized legal segregation. These laws among other actions of the federal government, notably the Brown v. Board decision which made segregation in public schools illegal, prompted whites, especially in the southern states, to openly defy the rule of law over the course of the mid 1950's and beyond. Indeed, with the near tone of a secessionist "fire eater" Governor Wallace of Alabama promised "segregation now, segregation forever". And in this historical context we again have a perfect opportunity to create a debate in the classroom. One student would be responsible for speaking on behalf of civil rights activists and could choose a historical figure like Martin Luther King while another student would take the side of the opposition and may use a character like George Wallace.

An interesting academic challenge for students in this case, different from that of the example of the American Revolution, is to examine civil rights legislation with regard to historical happenings that came before 1964-5 rather than after. Teachers may want to have students question what led to this hotly contested debate over civil rights laws rather than articulating the outcome (a conclusion, for that matter, that we are still formulating).

Consider that in November of 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama a lady named Rosa Parks refused to obey segregation laws that prohibited blacks from sitting in the front section of public buses. Her act of defiance is said to have ignited an already active NAACP and civil rights community into a firestorm that became the politically charged civil rights movement in the United States. Martin Luther King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) was of course a major component to this endeavor. The march across Alabama and the march on Washington D.C., the Greensboro sit-ins, and multiple other events helped fuel the movement. Rosa Park's act of insubordination had led in part, to an African-American triumph.

The backdrop to this development was nearly 100 years of subjugation, oppression and violence from American whites after the Civil War. But interestingly what Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King and other rights activists of the 1950's and 60's were fighting for had been all but guaranteed by Reconstruction amendments 13, 14, and 15 passed just as the Civil War was ending. Despite the fact that freed slaves were to be given full rights as citizens, other than the women's voting right, they were disen-franchised by the politically white dominated south through segregationist rules like the black codes and Jim Crow laws that were ultimately endorsed by the Supreme Court in the Plessy v. Ferguson ruling of 1896. So we might then argue that what African Americans were doing in the civil rights movement was not disobedience but, in some sense, a plea for the white American majority to obey the rules they'd already established, especially when considering the equality clause of the 14th amendment.

Thus the debate for our students would in part suggest that it was those in power who were behaving as deviants and that is it was perhaps the long silenced minority who were asking for constitutional adherence. Again students must weigh the evidence and make some difficult but interesting choices. Keep in mind, the academic concern here is not necessarily to find the right answer because it is my contention that there isn't one, but rather to establish arguments that can supply plausible answers. With that in mind, I think our students will be greatly assisted by theoretical knowledge about the world of social psychology.

Exposition of Social Psychology

There are many theories about human behaviors. Child development theorists, psychologists, psychiatrists and social scientists have hypothesized about patterns inherent to human beings for many years. Included in this field of study are a number of studies about conformity and obedience. One of America's most prominent and earliest social scientists, Herbert Spencer, predicted that human behavior was linked to Darwin's theory of evolution. He postulated that those who conformed to expected educational and industrial/ economic standards would be more successful. Those who defied the American capitalist tradition would sink to the bottom of the socio-economic pool and be dominated by those who'd adapted properly. American social norms, Spencer said, required that the masses bend themselves to the capitalists' will or suffer the penalty of poverty. He additionally said, as Darwin had with other species, that there was a certain amount of biological predetermination involved. Some traits that would predictably affect one's ability might be race, ethnicity, and sex, among other pejorative claims. Spencer represents a perfect example for the American propensity to create parameters for social customs, but for this unit, I'd like to use some more contemporary theories, that aren't scientifically and morally corrupt, which may help students in completing the unit essay assignment outlined in the objectives section above.

The science itself is broken into discernable and definable schools of thought. And there are a number of them. For instance, in studies about conformity, obedience, and defiance scientists have created three categories: normative social influence, informational social influence, and obedience. There are, in addition several defined ways to approach and understand group influence: social facilitation, social loafing, deindividuation, and groupthink. To help students judge periods in history the way I have suggested, we must explore some of these to determine their applicability.

The notion that humans are inclined to either react positively or negatively to law is not a new or exceptionally profound concept. But social scientists are driven to reveal the processes by which this might happen. For instance, the theory of normative social influence predicts that people conform to prevent being ostracized; moreover, it is better to fit in than to stand out. We might think of the immediate aftermath of 9/11 when it was expected that all Americans would behave in a patriotic manner, any criticism of our government, advocacy of the terrorist act, or condemnation to our way of life being dangerously unpopular (Myers, 705).

The theory of informed influence is said to be a manifestation of an individual's value judgments. In other words, a person will prefer the group that thinks similarly to them, but is careful not to stray from any group dynamic. Furthermore, they often think of themselves as part of an open-minded rational sect and refer to those on the "other side" as partisan ideologues. So who are the deviants and who are the conformists? The answer is both. Each group conforms to its own standards while concurrently deviating from the other that they conveniently refer to as the norm (you can't be self assured without the moral high ground). Can you say American political pundit? (Consult anything written by James Carville or Ann Coulter) (Myers, 705).

Obedience theories, like the one conducted on the Yale campus by Stanley Milgram in the 1970's, calculate that people tend to obey as a product of their deference to the social order. The theories predict that in situations where people feel an obligation to a higher authority they are more likely to act in ways that their moral sensitivities normally wouldn't allow. In history we might think about the 9/11 terrorists or the Nazi soldiers in death camps who were programmed to do as they were told. Not that we excuse them of personal or moral responsibility, but we recognize, in cases like these, the possibility that "all it takes is ordinary people corrupted by an evil situation" (Myers 706-709).

Social psychologists also study affective group behaviors. For example, there are the concepts of social loafing and social facilitation. Some people socially loaf when they belong to a group working toward a common goal. They feel as if the task will be completed even if they do very little, someone will pick up the slack. My student council class often works in this manner. Teachers are well aware that in class group activities can result in one student doing all the work while the others collect the credit. Social facilitation means that people are often prompted toward hyper activity or absolute nervousness by the existence of a group. For instance, professional athletes often describe being "on their game" in front of big crowds. They perform at extraordinarily high levels of athleticism due to the "rush" they get from an audience. Some people, however, facilitate in the opposite direction. They become very nervous and lose their ability to perform especially when they lack confidence in their skills. Imagine a first year teacher in his or her first class on his or her first day (Myers 709-710).

There are also manifest group behaviors called groupthink, deindividuation, and social control. Deindividuation occurs when people seem to lose self awareness or self restraint in large groups. Teenagers at the rock festival in Woodstock 1992 torched refreshment stands and covered themselves with mud, did enormous amounts of drugs and committed endless violent acts, we might say, as a symptom of their deindividuation.. The combination of large crowds of adolescents, wanton rebelliousness, loud rock music, and a growing historical expectation that these variables should be combustible may have led social science to predict as much. Groupthink postulates that people move in harmony through a decision making process that ultimately lacks realistic forethought and often produces unwanted results. The rampant and collective fear of Japanese infiltration after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941 resulted in egregious human rights violations via internment that our federal government later acknowledged through the payment of reparations. Social control theory suggests that very powerful, convincing individuals within a group sometimes are able to will the group to a new norm. Examples include Mahatma Gandhi who, though deviant in his original cause, became the symbol for humanitarian righteousness in the 20th century (Myers, 710-713).

Application of Social Science in American History

The point of all of this is to say that there is some basic understanding of human behavior and interaction that, given the appropriate scholarship, we might use for historical analysis. To come full circle let's return to our examples about the American Revolution and the African American civil rights movement and use what we have discussed in social science as a litmus test for determining obedience and defiance.

It might be argued that the American independence movement worked because of obedience within the colonial social hierarchy. The gentrified nature of the colonies meant that the masses of lower class workers naturally deferred to the educated elite. Therefore, we might argue that many of the common soldiers put themselves into armed service, not out of devotion to the American ideal, but as a matter of allegiance to their more forthright socio-political masters. Historian Howard Zinn in A People's History of the United States argues that the founding fathers offered "the adventure and rewards of military service to get poor people to fight for a cause they may not clearly see as their own" (77). After all, when the war was won and the dust settled, what group benefited most from the victory? Was it the case that American freedom led to widespread American prosperity? These are the types of questions our students might ask themselves.

We might also use the theory of groupthink to explain the movement toward independence and repudiation of English law. Keep in mind the reality of the situation. The colonies were completely separate entities and had had very little success at union. Many of the colonies preferred to think of themselves as individual nations and, especially in the South, feelings of loyalty to the crown ran deep. There was no Colonial Army or Navy to speak of making the prospect of defeating the mighty British forces grim. There was no legal method for raising money nor was there a colonial currency. There was no suffrage vote on the issue of independence and no polling data that indicated how colonists might react if the British landed on this continent intent on squashing a rebellion (especially if we consider the barbarous penalty inflicted on anyone convicted of treason). So, it is completely plausible for us to say that irrational and unreasonable lines of logic led to a precarious decision; moreover, most historians agree that the cause would have been totally lost absent French intervention in 1778.

So what of civil rights legislation? Perhaps students could argue that there was an element of groupthink involved. The black south faced insurmountable odds. Voting rights were prevented by racist violence and political intimidation leaving the southern black minority helpless. The civil rights movement, without white advocacy and true grit, was a lost cause. In fact, since the time of the Civil War the courts had regularly upheld the right of segregationist state policies. We might recall that despite overwhelming evidence of vigilante justice in the 1920's, the Congress refused to acknowledge an Anti-Lynching bill sponsored by the last remaining African American congressman George White. So we might say that the logic of a campaign against white majority rule was illogical, unlikely, but necessary.

But there might also be an element of social control theory exemplified by the actions of people like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King. In the face of great pressure to succumb to majority will these individuals rose above social constraints and, abstaining from the conventional accommodationist tack, became the magnetic force behind a humanitarian movement that transformed modern America. This grand defiance was the backbone of a pattern of recognition, on the part of the federal government, of civil rights for Americans of multiple races, backgrounds, and abilities. The question is how we should deal with all of this wonderful information. What follows is a set of strategies that I think would help teachers and students in bringing all of this together.


The basic strategies I will use for this unit are rather dull. I have nothing neither new nor profound to add to American pedagogy. But for this unit the strategies are appropriate. I will first try to demonstrate the similarities between my student's lives and those of people within some historical situation. In other words, I will attempt to personalize information to otherwise disinterested students. To do this I always build analogies. The topic of this unit makes this very simple. The adolescents we teach are very skilled in the ways of noncompliance. It is encoded into their DNA. Therefore, asking them if there are rules at school or at home, laws in general society that upset them I am guaranteed that an emotionally charged conversation will soon follow. I find, as most, that these types of conversations are wonderful ways to get students active and then, with the proper coaxing, into more relevant and intellectual dialogue about something of substance; in this case, the nature and application of law.

Next, I will model for my students what an oral presentation should sound like. It is of course well documented in educational research that students respond better to instruction and in turn fulfill the obligation of teacher assignments when they understand exactly what it is they are being asked to accomplish. So once I have introduced the oral presentation project I will spend some time showing my students how they might meet my expectations. There are some important specifics here we must be careful to include. When doing an oral presentation students must project their voices so that they can be heard. They must have constructed clear prose that is intelligible and consumable by their classmates. It would be helpful, of course, if they practiced before they present to the class. They should also be prepared to answer questions from the instructor and their peers. But to be sure, students will be given a grading rubric that displays exactly what criterion they must meet to assure as high a grading mark as possible (appendix A).

Then it will be necessary to inform my students about the theories of social psychology. My plan involves two specific parts. First I will develop a handout that has short definitions of each of the theories discussed above (appendix B). Then I will, by means of a lecture, give examples as I have done in this unit for students to note. Then, to create a sense of ownership of this information, I will ask students to come up with examples of their own. These may be hypothetical or from real life experience. We will of course share and discuss these in class so that we both eliminate confusion and produce clarification.

I should say that although it is not absolutely necessary to do so, it might be advantageous for teachers to, after the first sets of debates, enjoin the class in some conversation about the historical accuracy of the presentations and the possibilities of applying social science to the historical situation in concern. To ensure clarity for all students with regard to the historical facts, I would think that some discussion would follow each debate; however, that will need to be judged on a case by case basis. Also, depending on your group dynamic, it may be of use to check student notes to make sure that the most pertinent information has been gathered. This again, is subject to the type of note taking strategies one employs in the classroom. I normally present students with outlines of information and have them fill in as we move through the material (appendix C). Thus it might be suggested that you ask those students who are taking part in the presentations to create small outlines for their classmates so that they may note appropriate information of general importance.

Sample Lesson Plan

It seems most prudent to give the sample lesson that will introduce the concept of role play presentations, since all those that follow will essentially follow the same pattern. Often I find it advantageous to use a situation that is most closely relative to them. It is easiest to use school rules that seem especially egregious to students (currently it is the prohibition of cell phone use on school grounds). In the case where students all agree, I will play devil's advocate to show that there are alternative perspectives. I also will, if the discussion is less than active, use road rules (like the 25 mph speed limit that I abhor) or simply ask them about rules/ regulations/ laws that upset them to open the dialogue. The important pedagogical point is to make students aware of the opportunity to explore variance in perspective, especially when we think about the law. After this the class will move just as was discussed in the previous section. The outline that follows is an approximation of how this introductory session might proceed.

  1. Using the LCD projector, display the Charlotte Mecklenburg School Board rules and responsibilities for students to begin discussion.
  2. Introduce theories of social psychology concerning obedience in a lecture format, and then have students give their own examples followed by a short discussion to eliminate any misunderstanding.
  3. Bring the two previous elements together by introducing the role play exercise that we will be doing over the course of the year. Must make sure that they understand the parameters of their assignments, including the notebook piece that I have mentioned several times during the strategies section.
  4. Probably the most important part of this introductory lesson will be my modeling the proper style for presentation including timing, annunciation, supplying an outline for arguments, and allowing for questions.
  5. Students will then receive the role play rubric and choose their topics from the list given.

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