Religious tolerance as educational goal

Driestar educatief believes it is important to develop more knowledge in the situation at monoreligious Christian schools and what its education does with teachers and pupils. Therefore Hanna Markus MA is appointed as a researcher. The research project focuses on religious tolerance as object because this concept is about the relation between ‘own conviction’ (monoreligiousity; exclusivism) and ‘many other convictions’ (plurality).

Questions arise

Monoreligious Christian schools are directed towards the socialization of pupils into the Christian faith. Because society is increasingly diverse, questions arise: how to prepare pupils adequately for life in a (religious) diverse society, while the school population is often homogeneous and it is believed that the way of salvation is only through Christ? These questions arise within the community of Christian schools, but these questions are also related to the public and political debates in the Netherlands and abroad about the place of religion in education and the right of parents to send their children to faith schools (financed by the government). These debates often focus on the pros and cons of religious (and cultural) diversity at school for individual pupils as well as the society as a whole.

Empirical research

Current debates often lack convincing theoretical and empirical foundations. And since academic and practical attention is increasingly drawn to multireligious and interreligious education, there is a substantial lack of empirical knowledge about what is going on in monoreligious schools. Driestar educatief believes it is important to develop more knowledge in this area and has therefore appointed a researcher.
The researcher, Hanna Markus MA, will set to work with this theme in the coming years in her PhD study. Driestar educatief co-operates with the Protestant Theological University (PThU; especially Research Centre for Youth, Church and Culture) in this research project. The research study focuses on what teachers motivates to work at these schools, and there is a focus on the teachers’ views and strategies about religious tolerance as an educational goal.

Teacher training

Apart from knowledge development being an important objective, it is also important to connect the research project to teacher training, for the question is how monoreligious education can promote citizens to fully participate in a plural society while retaining their own religious identity. The connection with the Christian Teacher lectorate is therefore very important.

More information

For more information please contact Hanna Markus: we look forward to hearing of your experiences and questions, and gladly share our expertise in this area!
Prof. dr. M. Barnard (PThU), dr. A. de Kock (PThU), dr. G. Bertram-Troost (VU University) and dr. A. de Muynck (Driestar educatief) supervise this research study.