Hanna de Jong-Markus

General Introduction 27 1 comes to what the just society that the school wants to strive for looks like (cf. Dijkstra et al., 2018; Van Waveren, 2020). In relation to their actions in everyday, complex practice, it is important for teachers to have and/or build a normative framework on which to base their choices (cf. De Muynck, 2009; Van Waveren, 2020). In this study, I pose the question of how teachers reconcile the religiously diverse society and the mono-religious characteristics of the school in their professional thoughts and actions since these seem to be important aspects when it comes to citizenship education in OPPss (as described in previous sections). This includes normative beliefs on the particularity of the Christian faith and the religiously diverse society, especially openness or closeness to religious others (cf. Moyaert, 2011). Although personal and professional beliefs are related (cf. De Muynck, 2008; Häusler et al. 2019; Korthagen, 2004), this study is explicit on how they do so from their professional responsibility and role as teachers. I further focus this issue on what it can mean for teacher education because it is the responsibility of teacher education programmes that teachers be ready to practice their profession (O’Neill, 2017). Moreover, it is the duty of such programmes to always be in tune with current societal issues, in this case the call for social cohesion (cf. Vereniging Hogescholen, 2019). Several studies mentioned above show that citizenship education in the Netherlands lags behind compared to that in other countries (Inspectie van het Onderwijs, 2016, 2018). It is stated that, among other things, the design and quality of the curriculum in preservice teacher education programmes are important focal areas for strengthening the quality of citizenship education (Inspectie van het Onderwijs, 2016; Onderwijsraad, 2012). Van Waveren (2020) notes that professionalisation and training of future teachers are particularly important precisely when it comes to citizenship education because it is crucial that teachers identify and recognize when citizenship themes come up in the classroom, and imperative that they relate to their own values and norms in doing so. In my research, a sub-study on teacher education is included as specific questions may apply to the target group of future teachers at OPPSs. As previously outlined, there is still little understanding of what teaching citizenship means for teachers from relatively homogeneous and/or strictly religious communities. It is recognised, however, that more than in other subject areas, teachers’ own beliefs, values and experiences play a role in teaching citizenship (Van Waveren, 2020). The relatively homogeneous community of OPPSs means that there may be fewer and/or different experiences around religious diversity, and there may be tensions between teachers’ religious beliefs and values and mainstream notions of citizenship (see Section 1.4). For teacher education, this would mean that there should be attention for specific issues in order to equip teachers of OPPSs for teaching on religious diversity.