Hanna de Jong-Markus

Religious Tolerance as Educational Goal in Orthodox Protestant Schools 3 61 aim and provides space for alternative beliefs. Just as teachers in this way can adjust their religious beliefs about the concept of tolerance and their professional beliefs about tolerance as an educational goal in order to reduce inconsistencies, it might also be the case that they need to change other beliefs. For example, if they reflect on their beliefs related to the value of citizenship education, this might influence their religious beliefs or their ideal aims or other professional beliefs (cf. Nieuwelink et al., 2016). Finally, we can also apply the theory of professional ideals to the didactical tensions that were discussed earlier. In this case, another type of professional ideals is at stake, namely the ideal means: it is about how the teacher wants to be a teacher and what they perceive to be ideal educational approaches (De Ruyter, 2007; De Ruyter & Kole, 2010). The theory of professional ideals states that the ideal aims precede the ideal means, and that they should also be congruent with the content ideals (De Ruyter & Kole, 2010). Therefore, the starting point should not be whether certain didactical approaches normally applied in heterogeneous classroom situations can be realised in homogeneous situations, but whether there are didactical approaches in a homogeneous classroom situation that fit with both the content ideal of religious tolerance and the teachers’ ideal aims. Because of different ideal aims or content ideals in strong religious schools, the ideal means change as well, as we noted in the previous section. 3.5 Conclusion Our research questions were the following: What does religious tolerance as an educational goal mean and how can the tensions that might emerge in OPPSs around that goal be understood from a theoretical perspective? We conclude that, although tolerance is frequently promoted as an educational goal, it is difficult to define what this educational goal means. For our case, it is relevant to recognise that, based on some main characteristics of the tolerance concept, both the interpretation and the realisation of tolerance always depend on a certain degree of reasoning. For educational settings, this means that teachers should teach ‘how to think about both what should and what should not be tolerated’ (Vogt, 1997: xix) and thus it is necessary that they are able to reason about tolerance themselves. The second part of our research question concerns the tensions that might be experienced in OPPSs, as examples of strong religious schools. These tensions potentially arise because of the mono-religious characteristics of OPPSs: their specific socio-cultural context, normative bases and pedagogic aim. The normative basis and pedagogic aim