Hanna de Jong-Markus

Chapter 7 134 doing so, the aspect of ‘critical consciousness’ in the sense of focusing on social change is not reflected. Moreover, what has been said is more from the perspective of how the teachers deal with diversity among students, rather than how they can prepare pupils to effectively deal with religious others—so this might be an area for improvement in the orthodox Protestant teacher education programme. Furthermore we found that there is significant overlap between what the alumni mentioned and what the teacher educators mentioned. According to the alumni, the development needed in teacher education focuses on relating one’s own convictions to those of others and how to act on them as a professional. Teacher educators interpreted this as focusing on less right-and-wrong thinking and they highlighted the need for conversational skills. The alumni would like to obtain more tools for how to deal with diversity they meet in their teaching practice— which seems to be echoed by what teacher educators would reinforce. Furthermore, both the alumni and teacher educators noted that real-life assignments are important in teacher education and that encounters with religious others should be encouraged, perhaps by doing an internship at a school with a (slightly) different denominational identity or by exchanges with other teacher education institutes. The alumni and teacher educators both indicated that the differences between trainee teachers are significant and that their family backgrounds have a significant influence. Both groups also emphasized that trainee teachers not only learn to deal with religious diversity during their teacher education program, but also develop this next to and after completing their teacher education. The uniqueness of the orthodox Protestant teacher education programme is particularly evident in the fact that deepening one’s own faith is mentioned as a significant aspect of learning to deal with religious diversity. However, this aspect did not emerge so strongly from the literature. We thus recommend further research that explores the relationship between deepening one’s own faith tradition and being able to deal with diversity in teacher education. In addition, our study showed that the participants experienced the internal or mutual religious differences as real differences, which they have to learn to deal with. The fact that the participants were less concerned with external religious diversity might be influenced by our initial interview questions about how religious diversity comes to the fore in primary schools. In follow-up research, more attention could be paid to cultural diversity because, as previously mentioned, this is related to religious diversity. This opens the possibility for more insights into how external religious diversity is thought about and for the topic of critical consciousness and social change. Given the overlap of significant factors in our empirical study and the factors mentioned