Hanna de Jong-Markus

Beyond Right-or-Wrong Thinking 7 133 Rarely contact outside their own circle The teacher educators alsomentioned that teacher education is not solely responsible for developing the teachers’ ability on religious diversity; that development is also influenced by the media, friends, and the church. According to the teacher educators, there are many, striking differences between the students in terms of how competent they are and the existential questions they have. Some students rarely come into contact with people or themes from outside their own circle. There are also differences in the extent to which students are open to learning. One teacher educator (focus group 3) stated: “If I were a male minister in a strict church, some [students] would be more likely to accept what [I teach], than they now do from me as a working mum.” Teacher educators feel driven to teach trainee teachers to look more broadly. However, sometimes this is challenging, especially in relation to the expectations of parents and other supporters of DCU, because the latter criticize that students become less orthodox at DCU. 7.7 Discussion and Conclusion Our central question was: What do alumni and teacher educators identify as being significant for primary school teachers’ learning about religious diversity in orthodox Protestant teacher education? The focus groups with alumni revealed the significance of encountering students or teacher educators fromother Reformed church denominations, the role model of teacher educators in treating mutual differences, (multiple-day) excursions on interculturalism, real-life assignments instead of only discussing things, and knowledge about social cultural formation and church history. For the teacher educators, significant competencies to be developed were: engaging in encounters with religious others, open attitudes and showing genuine interest, conversational skills, growth of personal convictions about Christian faith, deepening knowledge about diversity, and– especially highlighted–making careful deliberations. According to the teacher educators, these are ways to stimulate the forementioned: increasing knowledge and reflection in order to break through the obvious, the college as an open environment and training ground, real-life assignments and practical experiences, and tailored guidance to meet individual students’ needs. First, it is important to note that, to a large extent, these elements correspond to what we found in the literature on teacher education in relation to religious diversity. In contrast to the main concern in the literature, however, alumni and teacher educators are mainly concerned with internal religious diversity rather than with external religious diversity. In