Hanna de Jong-Markus

Beyond Right-or-Wrong Thinking 7 131 religious differences appear among their (future) pupils, trainee teachers should not shy away from addressing this; rather, they should dare to initiate conversations. Second, it is important that students have an open attitude towards others. They should show genuine interest and display loving, respectful manners. It is important that trainee teachers learn to listen carefully instead of imposing their own story or frames. Third, trainee teachers need to develop conversational skills, such as summarizing, asking follow-up questions, tuning into the other person, and finding the right tone. Fourth, trainee teachers’ own convictions must grow. This entails getting to know themselves, committing to the Bible and the Christian faith, discerning what is really important, being able to articulate what they stand for, and understanding their calling as a teacher. This is often mentioned in relation to getting to know other worldviews. Fifth, trainee teachers need to acquire and deepen their knowledge about diversity in a Biblical light, about differences within Christianity and how these have developed in church history, and about the Christian faith in relation to other worldviews. Finally, trainee teachers must learn to be reflective and make careful deliberations. While this overlaps what is already mentioned, the teacher educators explicitly highlighted this. It means that trainee teachers should be aware of the differences within Christianity and the Reformed tradition, they should not immediately pass judgment, they should be able to distinguish between major and minor issues, they should empathize with others, they should be able to weigh what is important, and they should be humble. To emphasize the importance of this, the teacher educators several times used the phrase that students must learn to think beyond “right and wrong” or “black and white”, and that they must learn that there are also many gray areas. For example, one teacher educator (focus group 4) recounted a visit to a monastery where trainee teachers listened poorly to what was being said. They mainly focused on “what’s different” in order to superimpose their frame on it. The teacher educator said: “(...) what a pity, because then you’re back in that black-and-white, like ‘with us it’s good and we should try to pass that on to them [monastics]’, while respectful, calm listening was very difficult for them.” Concerning the ways in which is worked on religious diversity in teacher education, increasing knowledge and reflection by the trainee teachers was mentioned first. The teacher educators want to break through what is obvious for them. Reflection can occur while acquiring knowledge, but it can also come fromgaining real-life experiences. Second, within college, trainee teachers encounter differences among fellow students and among teacher educators. This may create an open environment in which those differences are properly dealt with, in which differences can even be regularly appreciated, and in which trainee teachers can experience how they can later ensure a good environment in their own classrooms. This means, for example, that all trainee teachers must feel