Hanna de Jong-Markus

Chapter 1 18 (Staatsblad, 2021; see Appendix I for both the new and the old law text). The aim is to clarify the general citizenship objective and its applicable guiding principles for schools, and thus also to provide better opportunities for supervision by the Inspectorate of Education and make citizenship education less optional (Staatsblad, 2021; Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal, 2019). The changed law is referred to by the overarching terms ‘active citizenship and social cohesion’ (Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal, 2019). Active citizenship is about the willingness and ability to be part of Dutch society and to make an active contribution to it. In its explanation of social cohesion, the legislature emphasises that learning to live together with each other is central (Tweede Kamer der Staten‑Generaal, 2019). Greater emphasis on basic values For schools, in practice the new lawmeans that they have to develop a vision on citizenship education with a coherent programme describing what pupils have to learn and how this will be evaluated. In addition, the ‘basic values’ that recurred in the Supervisory Framework accompanying the law (Inspectie van het Onderwijs, 2006) are given greater emphasis. Schools must now show how basic democratic values are expressed in the school culture and how they can be actively practiced by pupils (Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal, 2019; cf. Verus, 2020; VGS, 2019). The new citizenship law likewise emphasizes that pupils and staff should feel safe and accepted within the school, despite differences (Eerste Kamer der Staten-Generaal, 2020). The basic values that serve as the foundation of the Citizenship Act are human dignity and, ensuingly, freedom, equality and solidarity. These basic values make it possible for people to live and to learn to live together in peace despite having divergent standards and values (Inspectie van het Onderwijs, 2021a; Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal, 2019). In the Supervisory Framework this is concretized in eight basic values: freedom of expression, equality, understanding of other people, tolerance, rejection of intolerance, rejection of discrimination, autonomy and sense of responsibility (Inspectie van het Onderwijs, 2006, 2021a; Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal, 2019)5. The recent advice of the Dutch Education Council on the Freedom of Education (Article 23 of the Dutch Constitution) shows a comparable emphasis on the framework that is set by the democratic society. It is, for example, stated that the mandatory common core of education that should be followed by all publicly funded schools, must be defined more clearly in terms of democratic society (Onderwijsraad, 2021). 5 Sense of responsibility was not mentioned in the Supervisory Framework of 2006, but has been added in the Supervisory Framework of 2021.