The role of education in teaching Dutch norms and values to adult newcomers : an analysis of integration policy in the Netherlands, with emphasis on the city of Rotterdam
This thesis examines the current debate in the Netherlands on norms and values. Specifically, it addresses the question of whether norms and values can be described, and if so, whether policy reveals the way that education plays a role in their acquisition by adult newcomers. The data collected consist of national and local (city of Rotterdam) integration policy, and in addition, interviews with politicians, policy analysts, and academics involved in the integration process. The analysis of policy and interviews was conducted using a grounded theory approach. The data revealed that the assimilation of Dutch norms and values is considered essential to the integration process, even though defining a Dutch norm and value is difficult, and contradictions and ironies appear when a norm or value is practiced. The data also revealed that 'education' is regarded as one of the most important means by which adult newcomers assimilate into Dutch norms and values. The conclusions based on these findings have several implications for education, some of which are: assimilation does not allow education to explore the complexity or abstractness of Dutch norms and values; provisions in policy regarding sanctions make education an instrument of enforcement and coercion; other policy provisions make education an instrument of exclusion rather then inclusion.