Dosadašnje teorijske spoznaje pokazale su da je za uspješnu provedbu interkulturalnog odgoja i obrazovanja u školama važna kompetentnost nastavnika. Fenomen osposobljenosti nastavnika katoličkog vjeronauka, kao i način provođenja sadržaja religijske dimenzije interkulturalnog odgoja i obrazovanja nalaze se u fokusu ovog rada. Teorijski okvir rada obuhvatio je i spojio pristup Vijeća Europe, koji religijsku dimenziju promatra pod vidom kulturno-društvenog doprinosa, i hrvatske teorijske postavke interkulturalnog odgoja i obrazovanje te u takvo polazište integrirao religijsku dimenziju interkulturalnog odgoja i obrazovanja iz crkveno-teološke perspektive koja se odnosi na međureligijsko i ekumensko učenje. Ispitivanje stavova i mišljenja katoličkih vjeroučitelja o utjecaju inicijalnog obrazovanja na sposobnost za ostvarivanje religijske dimenzije interkulturalnog odgoja i obrazovanja u nastavi katoličkog vjeronauka provedeno je anketiranjem, a u obradi rezultata primijenjena je kvantitativna analiza. Rezultati potvrđuju pozitivan smjer povezanosti između razumijevanja pojmova (interkulturalizam, religijska dimenzija interkulturalnog obrazovanja, međureligijsko i ekumensko učenje), usvojenih vještina tijekom studija potrebnih za razvoj interkulturalne kompetencije kod učenika i korištenja metoda/oblika rada u nastavi pri obradi sadržaja o religijskoj i konfesionalnoj raznolikosti. Rezultati su pokazali da katolički vjeroučitelji doprinose razvoju interkulturalne kompetencije učenika, a time i ostvarenju ciljeva interkulturalnog odgoja i obrazovanja u javnoj školi. Katolički vjeroučitelji pokazuju otvorenost i pozitivan stav u prijenosu sadržaja koji se odnosi na religijsku i konfesionalnu raznolikost te učenika usmjeravaju prema otvorenosti, toleranciji, poštovanju drugog i drugačije. U Republici Hrvatskoj na ispitanom uzorku vjeroučitelja možemo potvrditi da se njihova osposobljenost za religijsku dimenziju interkulturalnog odgoja i obrazovanja, na razini stavova i mišljenja, očituje u povezanosti znanja, vještina i rada u nastavi.
The need for education for religious diversity and coexistence has been noticed at the level of educational policies and church documents. An analysis of the educational guidelines provided by the Council of Europe and the Catholic Church on the religious dimension of intercultural education as well as the research results that obtained by Croatian authors in the field of pedagogy, both revealed a lack of research that would include the concept of religious dimension. The focus of the research part of this paper was put on the population of Catholic religious education teachers who are primarily responsible for its implementation in classes and the development of the related students' competencies. This paper provides an insight into the status of religious education teachers and their views on the competence to implement the religious dimension of intercultural education. The fundamental paradigms that serve as a basis of this paper encompass intercultural education underlining its religious dimension, as well as the area of application and achievement of its goals, which are manifested in the development of intercultural competences, methods and forms of work, all notably concerning teachers.
The paper is divided into three parts. The first part focuses on answering the questions of how intercultural education should be implemented and what meaning it has for the Croatian school system and the training of Croatian teachers. A political-pedagogical framework is adopted considering that the principles of intercultural education that are applied within the framework of public education. The paper begins with an insight into the theoretical definitions of key terms, such as interculturalism, intercultural education, religious dimension and intercultural competence. The authors of the Croatian and English-speaking areas referenced in the paper shed light on the various currents that exist within the educational concept and that lead to an understanding of intercultural education. The definition of the concept of interculturalism and the pedagogical implications it has had in Europe are presented referring to key theoreticians as well as organizations that contributed to its development. The connection between principles and outcomes at the policy level is presented with regard to educational documents in the Republic of Croatia and crucial research conducted in the field of pedagogy, which explain the concept of intercultural competence and methodical approaches that contribute to its development in the student population. The definition of intercultural education and its religious dimension is based on the analysis of the political guidelines of the Council of Europe. The religious dimension represents an integral part of the concept of intercultural education, and according to the Council of Europe reference documents, it should be incorporated into the educational policies of the member states. It is defined as a combination of knowledge about
other religions, skills and attitudes needed by young people to deal with religious diversity in society, and which help create a cohesive society. The first part provides an explanation of the basic concepts used in the research and an insight into the situation in the Croatian educational and research plan when it comes to the application of European policies.
The second part focuses on the questions of how the Church views the mentioned concepts, its position regarding the understanding of cultural and religious diversity, and how the guidelines provided in terms of education relate to the research question centred around the training of Catholic religious education teachers. This part shows the coherence of the research question with the guidelines present in the Church documents, which highlight the importance of the necessary competences that are developed in students, the use of the interdisciplinary ability of religious education, and clarify what education for interculturality means in the context of religious education. The role of the teacher is connected with the necessary teacher competencies: knowledge, expertise, sense of time, adaptation to the societal circumstances, development of attitudes and the cultivation of the emotional dimension in students. It should be noted that not all documents are directed at the person of the religious education teacher, but that the term ‘teacher’ also refers to other subjects, depending on the documents discussing the specific role of the Catholic school. Also, some documents do not closely connect the necessary skills with intercultural education, but there is a visible tendency of awareness and the need for adaptation with regard to other religions and cultures, or communication with society and education for active citizenship. Educational guidelines are represented, but to a lesser extent, which is expected to increase in the future, especially since most of the educational guidelines refer to the goals of the Catholic school in which initial education and the role of the teacher are less emphasized. Moreover, the role of religious education is mentioned to a lesser extent, and although it is linked to the goals of intercultural education, there is a lack of information with regard to the specific content by which it is to be achieved, i.e., the competencies of teachers and students. The theological approach to the research problem represents a framework with regard to dialogue (the documents emphasize the importance of interreligious and ecumenical dialogue to a greater extent), as well as the attitude towards religions and dealing with cultural diversity. The paper also points to the connection with the task of Catholic religious education classes and the education of Catholic religious education teachers. This lays the groundwork for the discussion on education for the religious dimension of intercultural competence of students and the role of teachers in mediating content on religious and cultural diversity.
Based on the synthesis of previous research from the field of pedagogy and religious pedagogy, the third part presents the methodology of the work, the results and the discussion. Quantitative research was conducted using the survey method, for the purpose of which a questionnaire had been created. The goal of the research was to examine the attitudes and opinions of Catholic religious education teachers about the impact of initial education on the ability to realize the religious dimension of intercultural education in Catholic religious education classes. Based on the set hypotheses, the research results confirmed the existence of a connection between the understanding of concepts and the ability to develop intercultural competence with methods and forms of work, as well as the differences in the development of intercultural competence among students with regard to gender and age. Differences in the ability to implement the religious dimension of intercultural education with regard to socio-demographic characteristics (gender, age, level of education, intercultural experiences) have not been determined. This research has shown that when it comes to religious education classes, teachers implement the religious dimension to a certain extent, at the level of knowledge acquired during their initial study and training, but also at the level of the development of intercultural competence among students. Based on the presented results and the theoretical framework, this paper links, for the very first time in a systematic way, the views of the Council of Europe, which perceives the religious dimension through learning about religions in a way that contributes to the goals of peace, equality and justice, and the views of the Church on the importance of education for intercultural dialogue through religious education based on learning about other religions and confessions from a Catholic perspective.