Hanna de Jong-Markus

Chapter 3 60 Yes, that is the difficulty of being tolerant as a Christian, of course. You can accept someone, but you would rather long for them to know Jesus. But, yes, in the end that is God’s responsibility, of course. You can take your own responsibility by entering into a conversation or something, but as a citizen of this nation you probably just need to accept other persons for who they are, and you can’t impose something on them. (Anna van Dam; translation by the authors) Since inconsistencies in the general belief system of teachers can exist, it might be that teachers teach tolerance isolated in the context of citizenship education and do not link it to the nests of their own religious beliefs or beliefs about religious socialisation (cf. Schutz, 1970 in Pajares, 1992). But if teachers become aware of the inconsistencies, they can either ignore them or search for a resolution by adjusting their professional ideals and/or other beliefs in their general belief system. Since the quality of education increases when ideals are in line with each other and when teaching practices correspond to these (Bryan, 2003; De Ruyter, 2007), the latter is preferred. Korthagen (2004) points out that belief change can be stimulated by reflection on the basis of concrete teaching experiences33 (cf. Fives & Buehl, 2012). When teachers are stimulated to reflect on such experiences, they can become aware of the—often implicit— beliefs that play a role. Subsequently, by considering the disadvantages of this belief, they can arrive at an alternative theory through which different behaviour can ultimately be practised. Fives and Buehl (2012) note that the extent of belief change depends on various factors, such as the nature of the beliefs and the nature of the experience, as well as on individual and contextual factors. Some beliefs are more central than others, and the more central they are, the more difficult they are to change (Fives & Buehl, 2012). For example, content-related beliefs about mathematics proved to be more changeable than general or overarching beliefs (Beswick, 2008; Magos, 2006). The central question here is whether and how the content ideal of religious tolerance and the substantial ideal aim of the internalisation of the Christian faith relate to each other. Our analysis of the tolerance concept, which showed that religious beliefs fully count because the tolerance concept should be interpreted from peoples’ own religious normative framework, provides a first opportunity to bring the professional ideals of teachers in line with each other. The Dutch theologian Kater (2017), for example, reflected on being tolerant from an orthodox Protestant perspective. As he concludes, tolerance might be a less tensed value than the orthodox Protestant teachers think, so it does not need to be in conflict with their ideal 33 Korthagen (2004) describes this in the context of teacher training programmes, but it seems also relevant for practicing teachers (cf. Fives & Buehl, 2012).