1 Knowledge

Knowledge involves recognizing or remembering facts, terms, basic concepts, or answers without necessarily understanding what they mean. Its characteristics may include:

  • Knowledge of specifics—terminology, specific facts
  • Knowledge of ways and means of dealing with specifics—conventions, trends and sequences, classifications and categories
  • Knowledge of the universals and abstractions in a field—principles and generalizations, theories and structures

Example: Name three common varieties of apple.


Comprehension involves demonstrating an understanding of facts and ideas by organizing, summarizing, translating, generalizing, giving descriptions, and stating the main ideas.

Example: Summarize the identifying characteristics of a Golden Delicious apple and a Granny Smith apple.


Application involves using acquired knowledge—solving problems in new situations by applying acquired knowledge, facts, techniques and rules. Learners should be able to use prior knowledge to solve problems, identify connections and relationships and how they apply in new situations.

Example: Would apples prevent scurvy, a disease caused by a deficiency in vitamin C?


Analysis involves examining and breaking information into component parts, determining how the parts relate to one another, identifying motives or causes, making inferences, and finding evidence to support generalizations. Its characteristics include:

  • Analysis of elements
  • Analysis of relationships
  • Analysis of organization

Example: Compare and contrast four ways of serving foods made with apples and examine which ones have the highest health benefits.


Synthesis involves building a structure or pattern from diverse elements; it also refers to the act of putting parts together to form a whole. Its characteristics include:

  • Production of a unique communication
  • Production of a plan, or proposed set of operations
  • Derivation of a set of abstract relations

Example: Convert an “unhealthy” recipe for apple pie to a “healthy” recipe by replacing your choice of ingredients. Argue for the health benefits of using the ingredients you chose versus the original ones.


Evaluation involves presenting and defending opinions by making judgments about information, the validity of ideas, or quality of work based on a set of criteria. Its characteristics include:

  • Judgments in terms of internal evidence
  • Judgments in terms of external criteria

Example: Which kinds of apples are best for baking a pie, and why?

(see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloom%27s_taxonomy)


  • (A) Curriculum Connections

Consider the Ontario, Canada, diversity and pluralism in education directive (2009): http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/policyfunding/equity.pdf   From the document it says:

  • Religion: By 2017, about one-fifth of our population will be
    members of diverse faith communities including Islam, Hinduism,
    Buddhism, and Judaism, in addition to a growing number of individuals without a religious affiliation (8)
  • Curriculum and Courses – Revised curriculum policy documents contain a section on antidiscrimination education that encourages teachers to recognize the diversity of students’ backgrounds, interests, and experiences, and to incorporate a variety of viewpoints and perspectives in learning activities. New courses are also being created that focus on gender studies, equity studies, and world cultures. (25)

This is important to emphasize, but what is currently lacking in many public schools are effective cross-curricular units outlining the core elements of the secular point of view that should be incrementally taught at each grade level along with the other pluralism/multicultural points of view.  Teachers lack the resources to properly teach the secular worldview. 

On this site you will find ideas and resources that are helpful in building multicultural/pluralism lesson plans. These lessons express and engage with the secular point of view, and “philosophy for kids/critical and creative thinking” generally.  So, consider some of these strategies for creative and critical student skill building.

(4) Darth Harley and His Mom

Harley sat with his mom one night and she read to him from one of her favorite books, “David Copperfield.”  The book was often too difficult for him, but he loved reading with his mom.  She read:

“I was sensible of a mist of love and beauty about Dora, but of nothing else … it was all Dora to me. The sun shone Dora, and the birds sang Dora. The south wind blew Dora, and the wild flowers in the hedges were all Doras, to a bud.  (Dickens, 2015, ch 33, Blissful).”  

His mother said to him: “You fell in Love with Wendy from the book Peter Pan because she was the first person to ever have the name Wendy and you thought she was going to fly into your room one night and take you away to Neverland.  How did the world show itself or appear to you then?

“Everything was alive and magical,” Harley said.

“Remember when you started taking allergy pills and you felt a little funny and the world seemed to have stronger colors than usual?  Now imagine how a really strong drug can change the way you feel and what you experience.”  His mom continues: “And Harley, when you have a headache or stomach ache, how does the world appear then? 

“Everything shows itself in an irritating way.  I want to go to my room and shut the world out.”

“Can you see why talking to someone as smart as Li’l Yoda about God is so fun and challenging?  Trying to suggest to people that it’s possible they are only experiencing a god-filled world, that it’s just a trick their mind is doing, is like trying to convince someone they aren’t seeing what they’re seeing!”

“Then it’s impossible,” Harley laughed.

“Not impossible, just difficult.  Certain kinds of doctors are very good at talking to confused people in such a way that they no longer believe they are being followed by strangers.  The strangers aren’t really following them, that’s just how they appear to the patient.  It’s a trick their mind is playing on them. People called “Deprogrammers” are good at getting people to stop believing things they once believed with all of their hearts.”

“Can doctors and deprogrammers use their skills to dispel religion?”

“They can and do, but many of the doctors are also believers in religion themselves.  Like I said, it’s a fun challenge.”

Harley thought for a bit and asked: “Mom, do you believe in God?”

“Most people seem to.  Many of them are far more intelligent than me, so maybe they’re right.  Let’s say for the sake of argument that I do, but am open to your questions … !  Spend time with Li’l Yoda, go back and forth with his ideas like Jedi dueling with light sabers. It’s great sport!”

Finally, his mom said as she wished him good night: “Harley, you are very special. You have been born with a tremendous special gift, a dis-Ability of not being able to remember very well. This may seem bad at first, but you will learn to use this gift, and in a world full of people lost in the details, you will be able to focus on the important information and see the forest despite the trees. The key to a wise and thoughtful life is to always sniff out when ideas don’t make sense and to question them – kind of like the main character in the picture book ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes.’ The great thinker Socrates said ‘I know that I know nothing. I am neither wise with their wisdom, nor foolish with their foolishness.’ “

“I sort of understand, Harley said – but not really.”

“I know,” his mother replied, “and I’m very proud of you because you recognize what you don’t know”

(3) Darth Harley and Li’l Yoda

Darth Harley and L’il Yoda

Harley and Li’l Yoda talked that recess, and many others after, and became good friends.  They talked about video games, God, TV, sports, and music, to name a few.  Harley would always go home and tell his parents about his conversations with Li’l Yoda, and his parents were delighted he made a friend.  Harley couldn’t always remember the details of his discussion, his memory being no where near as good as Li’l Yoda’s, but he thought he remembered the important parts and while Harley didn’t have many ideas of his own to say about God, or even if there was a God or gods, he thought he came up with some good questions.  For instance, he and L’il Yoda discussed:

(Baby Yoda/Grogu image Wiki fair use: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grogu)

(Li’l Yoda) Science isn’t exactly sure how everything began, so God must have created everything

(Darth Harley) A long time ago they didn’t know why the sun moved across the sky, so they guessed a god was making it move.  Is it a “good guess” to say we’re not exactly sure how everything began, so an invisible, magical leprechaun must be responsible?

(LY) When I die, my soul will live on forever

(DH) Why do you think we have a soul?  When a part of the brain gets destroyed, that part of the mind stops working.  What would be left over that would be a soul?

(LY) God is our loving father and wants us to always think about Him, worship Him, and stay close to Him.

(DH) A father may want those things when you’re young, but doesn’t a loving Father want you to grow up and discover your own place in the world, not having to think about Him and depend on Him for everything?

(LY)  God Can Do Anything.

(DH)  Why can’t He show up now and say “Hi” to us?

(LY) No one can see or hear him when God talks to me, but he always does, and even helps me to think what to say, like right now.

(DH) My imaginary friends talk to me and we have great times, but they’re not real. 

(LY) God is Love.

(DH) Then why is there so much animal and human suffering?  That’s not love.

(LY) There’s no suffering in heaven

(DH) Then why don’t we just start off there?  That still makes things more confusing.  If God made heaven without suffering, then he could have made this life without it.  Again, that’s not love.

(LY) God always answers prayer, just that sometimes the answer is no

(DH)  We know heat makes water boil because it always works.   Prayer and good results go together sometimes, but it seems to be an accident, not that prayer works.

(LY) The doctors were sure my mom wasn’t going to get healthy again, but she suddenly did.  It must have been God!

(DH)  Isn’t that like saying it’s almost impossible to win the jackpot when you buy a lottery ticket, but someone won last night, so it must have been God?

10 (LY) Some religious people (not me) say God hates LGBTQ people. 

(DH) Who you love isn’t a choice.  Is heterosexuality a choice? If God hates someone for something extremely important to the person that they didn’t choose and can’t change, then God is Evil

11 (LY) We’re not that different.  We both question the belief of most Gods.  I don’t believe in Zeus.  You just disbelieve in one more God than I do.

(DH) What happens when you question and look at your God the same way you question and look at Zeus?

12 (LY) God helped me to win my hockey championship!

(DH) Does that mean God made the other team lose?

13 (LY) Don’t you want to live in heaven forever?

(DH) It would probably be like living in Disneyland forever, great for a while, but eventually you would get tired of it.

(2) Darth Harley Goes To School

(2) THE LEGEND OF DARTH HARLEY Episode 1: Young Darth Harley, Bark Lord of the Sith, and the “DOG-MATIC” Jedi Li’l Yoda

 “If one is to understand the great mystery, one must study all its aspects, not just the dog-matic narrow view of the Jedi.” (Darth Sidious: Star Wars Episode 3, Revenge of the Sith)

*** image Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1884697


Harley had a different childhood from most kids.  His parents worked far away from other people in a deep, dark forest, and so Harley never even met other kids until his parents moved and he started school in grade 5.  His mother and father said to him that his teachers will give him a neverending supply of information about every subject imaginable, and some teachers will think the best students are the ones that can remember the most information the quickest.  But, Harley’s parents said, what they wanted him to practice the most was sniffing out “dog-ma”, to see when people are saying things without good reasons supporting what they say.  To help Harley understand this, his parents shared with him a book about the adventures of invisible leprechauns.  Harley’s mother and father asked: “Do you see the difference between learning a lot of information about the leprechauns and their adventures, and asking for evidence that such leprechauns actually exist?”  Harley’s parents said if you keep this idea close to your heart, the difference between little questions and big questions, you will begin to see the difference between “Intelligent” people who have and play with tons of information, and “Wise” people who know how to ask questions.

  • (ii) 

It was very difficult for Harley when he first started school, because even though he spoke the same language as the other kids, in a way he didn’t.  When they talked about the video games they liked, or the tv shows and movies they watched, Harley didn’t know any of them and so mostly just listened with some confusion and tried to understand what the kids were talking about.  Happily, the more Harley listened, the more he understood, and as he started watching the shows the other kids watched and playing the games they played, he felt he was becoming more like them. Harley got sad some times because he couldn’t remember details as well as the other kids, but his mother always reminded him that he should always try to figure out what the few important ideas are in the galaxy of details, and keep those close to his heart. 


One day something happened that made Harley feel really different from the other kids.  The teacher wanted to have a discussion about something called “pluralism” where each student was supposed to talk for a minute about the religion they celebrated.  Harley sort of understood what religion and God was from listening to the other kids, but his parents had never really bothered to mention God, so he was eager to learn and question the other kids about God.  Harley said this to his teacher, and his teacher paired him up with a very smart student at recess, Li’l Yoda, who would be his friend and talk with him about God.  His teacher quietly whispered to Harley that he didn’t have to agree with Li’l Yoda, just listen and try to understand – always asking questions if Li’l Yoda wasn’t being clear.

In the beginning

A long time ago, a thousand year before Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader, the Sith were fighting among themselves, and had become weak.  Because of this, the Jedi nearly destroyed them. 

Then, the Dark Lord Darth Bane emerged with a new plan for the Sith. The Sith would combat the Jedi with intelligence, cunning, and reason, rather than power. 

Darth Bane

It took a thousand years, but eventually the Sith Lord Sheev Palpatine, also known as Darth Sidious, outsmarted the Jedi and nearly took control of the galaxy.  His two great defeats came when his apprentice, Darth Vader, and his granddaughter Rey turned against him. 

All was thought lost among the Sith, until a new Dark Lord surfaced: Darth Harley, Bark Lord of the Sith.  Darth Harley was rumored to be so wise, that he even figured out a way to get his family and friends to clean up after him when he pooped!  Darth Harley challenged the “dog-ma” of the jedi!

Darth Harley

These are bleak times, with superstition and thoughtless beliefs taking over everywhere.  Become Darth Harley’s apprentice and use the power of wisdom to bring reason to a galaxy of confusion!

***Darth Harley Thinking Tip: When you really need to concentrate, pull up your hoodie to block the world out and focus. That’s why they put blinders on horses!