Hanna de Jong-Markus

Religious Tolerance as Educational Goal in Orthodox Protestant Schools 3 57 might need special attention, while for other schools, especially public schools, just the first competence might require more effort (Bertram-Troost, 2017; De Wolff, 2006). With regard to the second competence (to know the public moral language), children in strong religious schools should learn to agree to its importance, to know how the public moral language is valued from the perspective of their own moral language and how those two languages strengthen each other. At a later stage, children will learn that there is a consensus on the public moral language, but that different world views have different views of that language, and they will need to learn how to introduce their own moral language into the public debate (De Wolff, 2006). Regarding the third competence, children should practice hermeneutical discourse, which means that they must learn that there are different world views—both religious and non-religious—and how these influence one’s beliefs and choices (De Wolff, 2006). Based on the examples of the limited form of ethical reasoning and the didactical competence, we thus note that didactical tensions do not necessarily occur in strong religious schools when it is about tolerance as an educational goal. Instead, there needs to be attention to the didactical approaches in relation to the specific characteristics of strong religious schools. We can add to this that it is relevant to recognise that within religious homogeneous populations of pupils, diversity as such is not absent: pupils have, for example, different socio-economic backgrounds, preferences, life situations (cf. Veerman, 2020; De Wolff, 2006). 3.4 OPPSs: Teachers’ Beliefs, Professional Ideals and Religious Tolerance Knowing that didactical tensions are not necessarily at stake, teachers can still experience ideological tensions in dealing with the limited form of ethical reasoning and dialogical competence, because they hesitate to pay toomuch attention to anything other than their own religious beliefs (Pons-de Wit, 2017). To better understand how these ideological tensions function, we will examine teachers’ beliefs. The concept of beliefs is often used with respect to the influence of teachers’ convictions in educational practices (Borg, 2001; Fives & Buehl, 2012; Korthagen, 2004). 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: 186). Therefore, beliefs are strong predictors of classroom decision making (Korthagen, 2004; Pajares, 1992). Since beliefs are evaluative, they differ from knowledge that is based on objective facts—instead, they appear to be formed through personal experiences or cultural sources of knowledge (Pajares, 1992).