Hanna de Jong-Markus

Summary 163 inclination but is conditioned by self-control and based on a conscious, deliberate and voluntary choice. Second, tolerance is not an absolute value but is qualified by other values or principles, such as autonomy or democracy. Third, both the interpretation of the concept of tolerance and the decision as to whether to tolerate depends on the specific context and a person’s specific normative justification. The latter makes tolerance a value with a wide consensus in society in the shared public or liberal-democratic moral language, but one that can have different grounds for different groups in their primary moral language. All three characteristics imply that a certain degree of reasoning is needed before tolerance can be practised; tolerance is not a given, but one must consider the reasons upon which one would base the decision to be tolerant in a certain situation. Although classroom diversity—which is perceived to be limited within OPPSs—is often mentioned as a way of teaching children to live together with others who are culturally and religiously different, the characteristics of strong religious primary schools are not barriers to adequate citizenship education in liberal-democratic societies. Socialisation in a specific conception of ‘the good’ can be especially powerful in developing ethical reasoning, which includes reasoning about tolerance. This does, however, beg for the introduction of a limited form of ethical reasoning, as well as fostering ‘dialogical competence’. For strong religious schools, specific didactical approaches to doing so could be identified. Furthermore, differences do exist even within religiously homogeneous populations. It was therefore noted that didactical tensions do not necessarily occur in strong religious schools when it is about tolerance as an educational goal. To better understand the potential ideological tensions, theories concerning professional ideals and educational beliefs were examined. A belief is ‘a proposition which may be consciously or unconsciously held, is evaluative in that it is accepted as true by the individual and is therefore imbued with emotive commitment; further, it serves as a guide to thought and behavior’ (Borg, 2001, p. 186). A person’s general belief system is an integrated system with substructures of beliefs, e.g., educational or religious beliefs. Beliefs can strengthen each other,but it isalsoacknowledgedthatateacher’sbeliefsystemcancontainincompatiblebeliefs that will remain until they are examined against one another. Professional ideals then can be understood as a specific nest of educational beliefs. Within professional ideals, De Ruyter (2007) distinguishes ideal aims, content ideals and ideal means. The ideal aim is teachers’ overarching ideal, which for OPPS teachers can be interpreted to be the internalisation of the Christian faith by their pupils. The educational goal of religious tolerance can be regarded as a content ideal, since it is about something teachers want to transmit or not. This distinction shows that teachers might experience ideological tensions because they may perceive that