Is There Any Difference in Tolerance?

  • Jan Germen Janmaat
  • Edward Vickers
  • Henry Everett


This chapter presents the findings from the quantitative and qualitative data collection on students’ attitudes on tolerance. Drawing on Walzer’s classification of tolerance, the chapter distinguishes between passive tolerance, which is understood as an attitude of inaction and indifference that does not go beyond the granting of rights, and active tolerance, which is about actively engaging with another group and recognising and endorsing that group’s culture. No differences are found between the students in the faith and non-faith schools in either passive or active tolerance. Differences are found between the individual schools, however, with the MI school students showing less tolerance, and in some cases intolerance, of dissent and diversity when beliefs, behaviours or lifestyles contravene religious beliefs and teachings.


Youth attitudes Tolerance Homosexuals Religious groups Ethnic minorities Faith schools Besieged identity Perceived threat Islamophobia 


  1. Allport, G., & Ross, J. M. (1967). Personal religious orientation and prejudice. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 5(4), 432–443.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. BBC News. (1998). UK Winterval gets frosty reception. [Online]. Available at: Last accessed 17 Mar 2011.
  3. BBC News. (2009). BNP’s griffin on question time. [Online]. Available at: Last accessed 26 May 2011.
  4. Billings, A., & Holden, A. (2010). The contribution of faith to integration and cohesion and the threat posed by ‘enclavisation’ in some northern towns. London: Commission on integration and cohesion.Google Scholar
  5. Bobo, L., & Licari, F. C. (1989). Education and political tolerance: Testing the effect of sophistication and target group effects. Public Opinion Quarterly, 53, 285–308.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Field, A. (2009). Discovering statistics using SPSS: (and sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll). (3rd ed.). Los Angeles/London: Sage.Google Scholar
  7. Francis, L. J. (2001). The values debate: A voice from the pupils. London: Woburn Press.Google Scholar
  8. Francis, L. J. (2005). Independent Christian schools and pupil values: An empirical investigation among 13–15 year old boys. British Journal of Religious Education, 27(2), 127–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Friedmann, Y. (2003). Tolerance and coercion in Islam: Interfaith relations in the Muslim tradition. Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Guardian. (2004). Play axed after Sikh protests. [Online]. Available at: Last accessed 10 Mar 2011.
  11. Hunt, R., & Jensen, J. (2007). The experiences of young gay people in Britain’s schools. London: Stonewall.Google Scholar
  12. Janmaat, J. G. (2008). The civic attitudes of ethnic minority youth and impact of citizenship education. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 34(1), 27–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Janmaat, G. J. (2010). Classroom diversity and its relation to tolerance, trust and participation in England, Sweden and Germany. London: Centre for Learning and Life Chances in Knowledge Economies and Societies.Google Scholar
  14. Peshkin, A. (1986). God’s choice: The total world of a fundamentalist Christian school. Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  15. QCA. (2008a). KS3 Citizenship curriculum guidance. [Online]. Available at: Last accessed 2 Jan 09.
  16. QCA. (2008b). KS4 Citizenship curriculum guidance. [Online]. Available at: Last accessed 2 Jan 09.
  17. Rokeach, M., & Bonier, R. (1960). The open and closed mind: Investigations into the nature of belief systems and personality systems. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  18. Sharpe, S. (2002). It’s just really hard to come to terms with ‘young people’s views on homosexuality’. Sex Education, 2(3), 263–277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Verkuyten, M., & Slooter, L. (2008). Muslim and non-Muslim Adolescents’ reasoning about freedom of speech and minority rights. Child Development, 79(3), 514–528.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Vogt, W. P. (1997). Tolerance and education. Learning to live with diversity and difference. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan Germen Janmaat
    • 1
  • Edward Vickers
    • 2
  • Henry Everett
    • 3
  1. 1.UCL Institute of EducationUniversity of LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of EducationKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan
  3. 3.LondonUK

Personalised recommendations