Hanna de Jong-Markus

General Conclusion and Discussion 8 149 not talk about Buddhists but showed how they live their lives and their faith, and let the pupils react to that—which is also a form of encountering religious others. As mentioned in Chapter 3, Korthagen (2004) indicates—within the context of teacher education—that in changing beliefs it is important for future teachers to be stimulated to reflect on concrete experiences while teaching, to become aware of the often-implicit beliefs that play a role in these experiences, and by reflecting on the disadvantages of these beliefs to arrive at an alternative theory through which different behaviour can ultimately be practiced. This is a helpful route that might also be used in OPPSs for current teachers. In Section 4.7 it emerged, for example, that teachers not only have religious motivations for valuing cohesive pedagogical environments for pupils, but also pedagogical considerations. However, as noted, this will not automatically be an argument in favour of pupils with other religious backgrounds. Classroom reflection on a case that is related to this topic can help refine teachers’ belief systems. Internal religious diversity as opportunity and starting point Internal religious diversity sometimes proves to be a reality inOPPSs that is perceived by both teachers and pupils as difficult. Teachers find it difficult to take a position in themidst of other agents in the school (see Chapter 7), including how to view other religions (see Chapter 6), and according to teachers pupils are more likely to criticise each other (see Chapter 4). At the same time, it has been reported in this study that differences within religious communities are increasing (see Chapter 1), and it is assumed that developing competences to deal with internal religious diversity helps deal with external religious diversity (see Chapter 7). Recognition of teachers’ own role and their professional ideals and goals (see Chapter 5), and thus also recognition of the school’s own place, can create space to see internal religious differences not as a threat within the school but as an opportunity. However, this requires a specific approach to the internal religious differences in the school, which is not always visible today because often it is the common ground which is emphasised. First, it is important to realise that the school is not primarily a faith community but a formative one (cf. Bertram-Troost et al., 2015b). As noted, the interviewed teachers seem to be aware of this when they define their own roles (see Chapter 5). However, this could be further translated into how they position themselves in relation to the differences between the members of the school community. Not only the teachers, but also the other agents in the school should be explicitly aware of this. The premise of the school is then not only ‘we share the faith’, but also ‘we differ in some ways and that is possible precisely in the context of the school’. I have seen some pleas in this direction in recent years, as in the suggestion