Hanna de Jong-Markus

Distinction, Identification, and Recognition 6 105 Exalto & Bertram-Troost, 2019; Glenn & De Groof, 2005). Denominational schools have to meet certain quality standards, such as the required qualifications of teachers, mandatory subjects, and attainment targets, but they are highly autonomous on matters related to resource allocation, curriculum, and assessment. These schools receive the same amount of governmental funding as public schools (Dutch Eurydice Unit, 2007; Exalto & BertramTroost, 2019; OECD, 2014). However, there are no official church schools in the Netherlands. About two-thirds of Dutch primary schools are denominational. At least five percent of primary schools are OPPSs, namely, “reformatorische scholen” (Reformed schools), “gereformeerde scholen” (Reformed Liberated schools), and part of the “protestantschristelijke scholen” (Protestant schools).54 In their mission statements, they refer to Reformed (Calvinistic) doctrines (De Muynck et al., 2014; DUO, 2016; Markus et al., 2018, 2021a).55 Orthodox Protestant churches acknowledge that “the forgiveness of man’s sins, and thereby salvation and eternal life, is only possible after repentance and rebirth, by the grace of God through the work of redemption on the cross of his son Jesus Christ” and that—regularly based on a literal Bible interpretation—people should “try to live according to God’s will in personal and social life” (Rijke, 2019, p. 96). Adherence to God is not self-evident, and therefore, it is a central issue in life. Some churches approach this in a more emotional (subjective) way, while others do so in a more rational (objective) way; but both forms of spirituality are found among OPPSs (De Muynck, 2008; Rijke, 2019). Orthodox Protestants value OPPSs as key institutions in passing on and strengthening community values and identity. Parents hope that their children will become adults of strong faith, which they are expected tomaintain in their interactions with religious others (Oomen & Rijke, 2013). Teachers in OPPSs are practicing members of orthodox Protestant churches. It differs whether schools only accept children from specific denominational backgrounds or practice open enrolment (De Muynck et al., 2014; Rijke, 2019). Dutch law requires primary schools to pay attention to important religious movements in society and to teach children respect for people’s differences of opinion. Religious schools often do so in line with their religious identity (Greven & Letschert, 2006; Kuyk, 2007). The way in which religious schools position other religions or worldviews in relation to their own religious identity can be described through the lens of monoreligious, multi-religious, or interreligious learning (Alii, 2009; Sterkens, 2001; Wardekker 54 Evangelical schools could also be seen as orthodox Protestant schools, but they are small in number and have a different doctrinal basis. Therefore, we did not include them in our study. 55 These doctrines are the Heidelberg Catechism (1563), the Belgic Confession (1561), and the Canons of Dort (1618–1619).