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Author: Siebren Miedema

Christian schools with open admission policies, especially in urban areas, are challenged in respect to the question of how particularism and pluralism can be combined. I will present and evaluate solutions to this question for Catholic schools in the United States and Christian schools in the Netherlands in a comparative way. Against the background of societal, cultural, and religious plurality, the diversity of religions already present in most of these urban Christian schools, and with regard to the aims of religiously inspired schools I make a plea in support of interreligious schools.

In: International Journal of Education and Religion
In: Interfaith Education for All

In the Netherlands both state and denominational schools are fully financed by the government. This is the basis for the Dutch pillarised educational system, with separate schools (Protestant, Roman Catholic and state schools) divided along religious lines. Due to processes of secularisation and multiculturalism, the formal identity of schools in the pillarised educational system no longer represents the religious identity of teachers nor of pupils and their parents. There are different kinds of religious education in schools. How religious education in school takes shape is only partly related to the official (religious) identity of a certain school. Given the public discussions on the Dutch educational system and the role religion plays or should play in schools, it is important to question what the effects are of these different kinds of religious education in schools. On the basis of two empirical studies we conclude that it is not possible to point clearly to the effects of different kinds of religious education on pupils. The family background and the role religion plays in the pupil’s live cannot be ignored.

In: Reaching for the Sky
A Lifetime Commitment
Worries about the moral standard of younger generations are of all ages. The older generation tends to believe that the moral education of young people deserves special attention, because their moral development does not reach the level adults hope for. This observation does not mean that the older generation is necessarily wrong, but what it indisputably does show is that they attach high importance to morality and moral education. But, what characterises a moral person? What influences people to behave morally? What should moral education involve? Which (inter)disciplinary contributions are relevant to improving moral education? These questions continuously deserve the attention of academics, students and (professional) educators.
This book is divided into four parts. The first part focuses on interdisciplinary empirical research about the reasons why people act morally and the consequences for moral education. The primarily philosophical chapters of the second part address the question what it means to be a moral person and the implication of this elucidation for moral education. The third part contains five chapters that deal with moral aspects of sex education and civic education. The fourth part consists of one chapter that looks at the moral education of students who will work in a pedagogical or educational environment, arguing that one’s moral development requires a lifetime commitment.
In: Moral Education and Development
In: Moral Education and Development
Religious Education from Christian and Islamic Perspectives
Young people have to make their own way in the world; they have to give meaning to and find meaning in their lives. This is the field of religious education, which is provided by parents, religious leaders, or teachers of religion and worldviews. One of the most important challenges is to educate children in their own religion, emphasizing that religion’s tolerant and peaceful side and to teach children about the beliefs of other traditions. An even more important challenge is to teach them to live together in peace and justice. This volume deals with religious education in Christianity and Islam in specific countries. Scholars in religious education need to know more about the ways in which Muslims and Christians perceive and practice their respective forms of religious education and explore methods that help young people develop their religious identity in accordance with their tradition—and also meet with comrades from other traditions, as the two young Gambian and Dutch women shown on the cover do.
This volume explores the field of Christian and Islamic education. Muslim and Christian scholars from Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, Indonesia, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands describe various aspects of religious education at school, at home, in the mosque and church, via the media and in peer groups. The papers were presented and discussed at an authors’ conference at VU University Amsterdam, organized in close collaboration between the staff of its Centre of Islamic Theology and other scholars in religious education, and the Islamic Universities League in Cairo. The authors describe actual processes of education, reflect on religious identity formation and respect for other people and the influences from home, school, mosque, and church, the media and “the street.”
In: Reaching for the Sky