When Philip Taylor arrived in New York City to begin work as a middle school social studies teacher, he encountered students whose learning potential was stifled by the rigid demands of a traditional, textbook-driven curriculum. Redcoats and Patriots
describes how he challenged that curriculum, kindled his students' interest, and ultimately transformed their learning experience—and how he accomplished this through the use of process drama.
Drawing from a unique blend of narrative reflection and classroom-based research, Taylor illustrates how he introduced drama into the social studies curriculum, inviting his students to become participants in history rather than mere observers of it. As his students investigate primary source documents, maintain journals, write letters, reconstruct events through role play, and create scenes and tableaux, they engage with the subject and with each other in ways previously unimaginable. Their curiosity and creativity are aroused as they and their teacher generate a curriculum that reflects their potential and celebrates their strengths.
But Taylor offers more than an innovative approach to teaching social studies; this book is also the story of a teacher engaged in classroom-based inquiry, critically examining his pedagogical beliefs and practices in response to the realities of his classroom. As the book progresses, we see Taylor become empowered as he responds to, and learns from, the questions and challenges posed by his students. Taylor and his students will inspire teachers of all disciplines who are looking to invigorate the curriculum . . . and their own teaching.