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HTS Theological Studies

On-line version ISSN 2072-8050
Print version ISSN 0259-9422


BROER, Nicolaas A. et al. Het vaststellen van de mate van religieuze tolerantie bij leraren in opleiding. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2016, vol.72, n.3, pp.1-10. ISSN 2072-8050.

In recent years, schools and education authorities worldwide have been paying increased attention to issues surrounding diversity and religious tolerance. Tolerance constitutes one of the most important preconditions for social justice, fairness and peaceful coexistence. Hence, the authors of this article decided to develop an instrument measuring the degree and nature of religious tolerance among student teachers. It is not this article's purpose to enter into a discussion about how to actually resolve religious, cultural and political conflict, but merely to embark on the process of developing an instrument to measure the degree of religious tolerance among teachers and student teachers. Religious intolerance is increasingly viewed as problematic, and it appears that education has been assigned the role of inculcating religious tolerance in young people. Teachers are expected to be able to inculcate in their students the respect, empathy, critical thinking and acceptance of differences among people associated with the notion of tolerance. To be able to do this, teachers have to possess the traits of a tolerant person. Whether teachers are indeed tolerant in practice depends on the extent to which they have mastered the capacity to be tolerant. This article reports on a study that culminated in the construction of a questionnaire for measuring the degree to which students on the threshold of entering the teaching profession displayed a tolerant attitude. The construction of the questionnaire was based on a theoretical study of tolerance and intolerance. The questionnaire was then applied in three different countries (South Africa, the Netherlands and India). Factor analyses were performed on the data to establish the validity of the instrument. The first round of application revealed a number of shortcomings in the questionnaire. The study therefore recommends a revision of the questionnaire. Among other things, the factoral structure and the reliability of some of the sub-scales require further attention. The study ascribes the lower than expected explanation of variance in the data set to the cultural differences existing among the different groups of respondents in the three countries. The article closes by drawing a conclusion regarding the degree of religious tolerance among the respondents who participated in this first round of application of the questionnaire.

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