Hanna de Jong-Markus

164 this content ideal conflicts with their ideal aim; i.e., promoting tolerance is not automatically in line with the internalisation of the Christian faith, as far as teachers are concerned. It is assumed that the ideal aim of teachers is mainly connected to their religious beliefs, while the content ideal is mostly linked to political (liberal-democratic) beliefs. Since inconsistencies in the general belief system of teachers can exist, it might be that teachers teach tolerance isolated to the context of citizenship education and do not link it to the nests of their own religious beliefs or beliefs about religious socialisation. But if teachers become aware of the inconsistencies, they can either ignore them or search for a resolution by adjusting their professional ideals and/or other beliefs in their general belief system. Since the quality of education increases when ideals are in line with each other and when teaching practices correspond to these, the latter is preferred. With regard to the potential ideological tension OPPS teachers could experience, the notion that tolerance should be interpreted based on people’s own religious normative framework (which may be the orthodox Protestant perspective) provides a possible first opportunity to bring teachers’ professional ideals in line with one another. Furthermore, next to adjusting their religious beliefs about the concept of tolerance, teachers might adjust their professional beliefs about tolerance as an educational goal. Meanwhile, with regard to the didactical tensions mentioned previously, the theory of professional ideals states that the ideal aims precede the ideal means and that they should also be congruent with the content ideals. The ideal means may thus change based on different ideal aims or content ideals in schools, as is illustrated above for the OPPSs. This theoretical exploration thus shows the need for OPPS teachers to reflect on tolerance as an educational goal, and on professional ideals in general, in order to improve the quality of their teaching practices. Further empirical research on this topic is greatly needed. Therefore, the empirical part of this study particularly focused on teachers’ professional beliefs and their reflection around possible tensions in relation to how they professionally reconcile a religiously diverse society and mono-religious school characteristics. Chapter 4 How Cohesion Matters: Teachers and their Choice to Work at an Orthodox Protestant School89 The Dutch educational system is characterised by a large number of state-funded denominational schools, among which are the orthodox Protestant primary schools (OPPSs). Parents can choose a school that they believe to be the best for their children 89 Since the orthodox Protestant primary schools and the research methods are already described in the summaries of Chapters 1 and 2, the sections that deal with those topics in this chapter are left out of the summary. The current chapter is based on the individual interviews study.