Department of Political Science

Tore Vincents Olsen

Compromising on official values? Accommodation of Cultural and Religious Diversity in European Education

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearch

Accommodation of cultural and religious diversity in schools is an important issue. At stake are often the ability to express religious affiliation and identity on the one hand, and the freedom not to be exposed to religion in educational institutions on the other. Clear national rules have the advantage of creating legal certainty and relieving school staff from having to negotiate accommodation with parents and students. Their drawback is inflexibility in meeting demands which may facilitate a better every-day school life for all students and a better learning environment. The paper discusses the pros and cons of introducing a mandatory procedural model for dealing with diversity issues at individual schools. It aims is to facilitate everyday participation of individual students in education by finding practical, pragmatic solutions to problems through dialogue between school, parents and students, while leaving issues of identity or values to one side, thereby ignoring claims for ‘positive recognition’. However, the focus on practical matters makes it better suited to deal with conflicts where they exist. Moreover, the reduced legal certainty that comes with local autonomy is counterbalanced by local participatory rights.
Original languageEnglish
Publication year2015
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventMidtwest Political Science Association: Annual Conference - Chicago, United States
Duration: 16 Apr 201519 Apr 2015


ConferenceMidtwest Political Science Association
CountryUnited States

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