Volume 4, 2006
Philosophy of Education
The Limits of Tolerance in Education
Tolerance is one of the most important aims of education in a contemporary pluralist society. On the other hand, there is very wide agreement that some phenomena like violence or indoctrination in school are so bad or wrong that they must not be tolerated. In this context, two problems are discussed. First, the limits of tolerance regarding the right of students in public schools to be excused from the specific parts of Instruction which they or their parents see as a form of indoctrination. Secondly, the respect for individual students and their autonomy as a limitation on tolerance regarding the "right" of parents who are members of certain religious sects to exempt their children from the mandatory education in order to maintain their communal and religious identity.