Education and Diversity in the Netherlands

Jan. 20, 2008

Source: European Educational Research Journal, Volume 7 Number 1,  2008, pages 50-59.

This article sets out the Dutch approach to the multicultural question. It focuses on how national policies, schools, teachers and teacher educators are addressing and making sense of questions of cultural and religious diversity.

The article shows how the Netherlands has partly accommodated itself to greater cultural diversity through compulsory reforms like intercultural education and citizenship education and through its long-established structure of public funding for pedagogically and religiously diverse schools.

It also shows the double standards applied to Christian and Islamic schools in the media and public debate. Drawing on interview data with teachers and case study material on teacher educators, the article describes their daily dilemmas with regard to diversity and commonality in contemporary classrooms and concludes that these teachers do not have the professional expertise needed to respond effectively to such dilemmas.

Updated: Mar. 23, 2008