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Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(4), 208; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8040208

Beyond the Split between Formal School Identity and Teachers’ Personal Worldviews: Towards an Inclusive (Christian) School Identity

1
Faculty of Religion and Theology, Department Beliefs and Practices, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2
Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences, Department Research and Theory in Education, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
3
Association for Catholic and Christian schools in the Netherlands, 3447 Woerden, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 November 2018 / Revised: 21 November 2018 / Accepted: 27 November 2018 / Published: 30 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Education and Religion in a Secular Age)
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Abstract

Religious diversity within Dutch schools has greatly increased. We carried out an empirical study to offer insights into how secondary school teachers (try to) relate to the formal Protestant Christian identity of their school, the challenges they experience in relation to their own personal worldview, and the recommendations they have to overcome these challenges. In our qualitative study, we interviewed thirty-two teachers from eight different schools. In selecting the schools, we took into account the diversity of Protestant Christian secondary education in the Netherlands. The teachers teach different subjects in a variety of disciplines (languages, creative arts, sciences, et cetera). For many teachers, their personal worldview does not align neatly with the formal religious identity of the school. As a result, teachers experience challenges in relation to, for example, the act of daily worship and (Christian) celebrations. Teachers also experience tensions regarding the extent to which schools could or should be open towards (religious) others. Teachers’ advice, among other recommendations, is to create room for an open exchange of views, opinions, and experiences between teachers and principals. Some teachers recommend that their principal reconsider the formal Christian identity of the school and search for another, more inclusive school identity with which everyone involved can better identify. View Full-Text
Keywords: school identity; secularization; secondary education; teachers; worldviews school identity; secularization; secondary education; teachers; worldviews
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Bertram-Troost, G.; Versteegt, I.; Van der Kooij, J.; Van Nes, I.; Miedema, S. Beyond the Split between Formal School Identity and Teachers’ Personal Worldviews: Towards an Inclusive (Christian) School Identity. Educ. Sci. 2018, 8, 208.

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