Hanna de Jong-Markus

Summary 179 citizenship perspective to the mono-religious characteristics of the school since the potentially negative effects of these characteristics get less explicit attention in OPPSs. Second, recognition of teachers’ own role in religious socialisation (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 that the members of the school community realise that the school is not primarily a faith community but a formative community. 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’. Furthermore, it must be acknowledged that teaching to deal with religious and other diversity can start with learning to deal with mutual difference (internal religious diversity), but continues in dealing with external religious diversity. Based on current research, it is doubtful whether sufficient attention is given to the increasing range in which pupils learn to relate to religious differences in primary and secondary education. At the end of this study, some methodological reflections together with some directions for future research are added. The exploratory purpose of the current research proved valuable because it provided the space to be more attentive to a finer conception of religious diversity. Furthermore, the results of the focus groups with alumni were fairly consistent with findings from the individual interviews with teachers, which can be an indication of wider recognition of the topics discussed by the population of teachers in OPPSs. Based on the results of the current study it is possible to conduct a larger-scale and more quantitatively oriented study that will provide more insight into the representativeness of the findings. Also, some suggestions are given for future research in order to generate more insights into the relevant background variables, into educational practices of OPPS teachers and into the range of religious diversity that is given attention in primary schools, secondary schools and professional training. Special attention is given to opportunities for educational design research within primary schools and/or at the teacher education institute because of the specific value of practice-based research. Lastly it is expressed that the current study hopefully stimulates teachers to be continually aware of their precious position in the religious socialisation of children, as well as in the chances they have to stimulate children’s contributions to living peacefully together in a diverse society.