Hanna de Jong-Markus

General Conclusion and Discussion 8 147 naturally to either teachers or pupils, it is seen as something that must be learned. For Islamic education in the Netherlands, dealing with internal religious and cultural diversity is described as a central feature (see Section 1.4). It is stated that much attention is paid to this diversity, and that in this way those involved in the school grow closer to each other. In this regard, Islamic education might be a forerunner to other strong religious schools in terms of experiences around dealing with internal religious diversity, especially if the influences of the societal context for OPPSs also become more similar to those that play or have played a role in the development of Islamic education (see Section 1.4). 8.3 Practical Relevance In line with the theoretical relevance described, there are also a number of issues to note when it comes to the practical relevance of this research for OPPSs and their position in society. The answer to the central research question has already indicated that it is important for teacher education programmes to get future and current teachers to think more about the tension issues related to the mono-religious characteristics of OPPSs and religious diversity, and to teach them how to reflect on these issues in order to have more coherent professional ideals. Also, more encounters with religious others are recommended, as well as relating religious diversity to citizenship education. The following suggestions for OPPSs are relevant in this respect and concern considering school characteristics from the perspective of citizenship education, and deliberately utilising internal religious diversity for learning to deal with external religious diversity. School characteristics from the citizenship perspective When it comes to teachers’ professional ideals and beliefs, it was concluded that there might be a need to hold inconsistent beliefs up to the light and look for how certain beliefs can be adjusted to be brought more in line with each other. In OPPSs, the movement to look at citizenship education from religious beliefs seems familiar, as shown in vision documents (cf. Van Laar-Jochemsen, 2019; Vermeulen & Markus, 2019; VGS/KOC Diensten, 2021), and in various opinion columns in newspapers (cf. Bronkhorst & De Groot, 2020; De Muynck, 2019; Spoelstra, 2020). However, based on the findings of this study it is recommended to also explicitly look in reverse from the citizenship perspective to the mono-religious characteristics of the school. As illustrated by the theory about bonding and bridging social capital (see Section 5.1), mono-religious characteristics and mainly the emphasis on one’s own community can have both a positive and a negative impact on social cohesion. Strong religious schools are overtly challenged to articulate