Hanna de Jong-Markus

Chapter 8 142 aim of the school can indeed lead to ideological tensions, as assumed in the theoretical exploration. However, these tensions are hardly thematised or problematised by the teachers. Moreover, the tensions barely appeared in relation to citizenship education or tolerance as an educational goal (cf. Chapter 3), but more in relation to religious socialisation. Implications for teacher education77 In the theoretical exploration it is noted that within teachers’ general belief systems inconsistencies can coexist between different professional beliefs or different nests of professional beliefs, including professional ideals. However, since the quality of education increases when ideals are in line with each other and when teaching practices correspond with these ideals, it is preferable that teachers make an effort to align them. Alignment is possible by adjusting professional ideals and/or other beliefs, for example religious ones, within their general belief system. Most tensions or contradictions that I observed could be seen as elements of professional ideals since they are about what teachers want to accomplish with their work, influenced by what they perceive to be their role as teachers, and about the ways in which teachers want to work and the kind of teachers they aspire to be. Professional ideals are important because they provide teachers with orientation, motivation, inspiration and a transcendent anchor. Since the identified tensions and contradictions are not or hardly thematised or problematised by the teachers, I conclude that it is important for teacher education institutes to stimulate future and current teachers within preservice or inservice training programmes, to think more about the tension issues related to mono-religious characteristics and religious diversity, and to teach them how to reflect on these issues in order to have more coherent professional ideals. This reflection is also necessary anyway when citizenship education is considered by future and current teachers in OPPSs. The theoretical exploration, for example, showed that when it comes to the concept of tolerance, which is an important value within Dutch citizenship education, it is necessary to think about how this concept is interpreted and on what grounds someone wants to realise it. Furthermore, next to ethical reasoning, also dialogical competence is identified as something pupils should learn in school with regard to the presence of religious others 77 Mainly based on sub-study 1 (“What does religious tolerance as an educational goal mean, and how can the tensions that might emerge in orthodox Protestant primary schools around that goal be understood from a theoretical perspective?”; see Chapter 3) and sub-study 5 (“What do alumni and teacher educators identify as being significant for primary school teachers’ learning about religious diversity in orthodox Protestant teacher training?”; see Chapter 7).