Hanna de Jong-Markus

Religious Tolerance as Educational Goal in Orthodox Protestant Schools 3 59 influenced by what they perceive to be their role as teachers. Ideal means are the ways in which teachers want to work and the kind of teachers they aspire to be (De Ruyter, 2007). For purposes of the argument regarding ideological tensions around religious tolerance as an educational goal in OPPSs, our first focus is on ideal aims and content ideals. Teachers’ ideal aims are the ultimate and regulative social goods they strive to achieve in their profession, namely, the social good of pupils and society as a whole. Teachers, for example, hold the ideal aim that their pupils should become autonomous adults (De Ruyter, 2007; De Ruyter & Kole, 2010). Content ideals are ideals, such as the virtue of equity, that teachers attempt to transmit to their pupils (De Ruyter, 2007). These ideals are inevitably influenced by teachers’ own world views and conceptions of the good life. Ideal aims can be formal (e.g., self-sufficiency) or substantial (defined in religious terms, e.g., obedience to God). The more substantial ideal aims are, the more they overlap with content ideals (De Ruyter, 2007; De Ruyter & Kole, 2010). Although different professional ideals are not inevitably congruent, the quality of education increases when the ideal aims and content ideals are in accordance with each other, and when teaching practices correspond to these (Bryan, 2003; De Ruyter, 2007). If ideal aims and content ideals are not congruent, teachers might revise their professional ideals and decide which ideal(s) is/are more important and should be retained and which ideal(s) should be reconsidered or added (De Ruyter, 2007). The relationship between particular content ideals and particular ideal aims is not self-evident because the same content ideal can be applied to very different ideal aims and vice versa (De Ruyter, 2007). The educational goal of religious tolerance can be regarded as a content ideal, since it is about something teachers want to transmit (or not) (cf. De Ruyter, 2007; De Ruyter & Kole, 2010). Because of the religious pedagogic aim in strong religious schools, we hold the internalisation of the Christian faith as an ideal aim (cf. De Ruyter, 2006; DeWolff et al., 2003; Markus et al., 2018). With this distinction we understand that teachers might experience tensions because they may perceive tolerance as a content ideal that conflicts with their overarching—and substantial—ideal; i.e., promoting tolerance is in the eyes of teachers not automatically in line with the internalisation of the Christian faith. Furthermore, we assume 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. The latter is, for example, reflected in what Anna van Dam32, an OPPS teacher interviewed, said: 32 Fictitious name of a female teacher who was a participant in our research project. The quotation is taken from an in-depth interview conducted in 2015.