Hanna de Jong-Markus

General Conclusion and Discussion 8 145 Teachers’ own role in religious socialisation First, teachers’ own role is broadly discussed (Grimmitt, 1981; MacMullen, 2004; Miedema, 2017; see Section 5.7). This also emerged to some degree in the empirical study of Bertram-Troost et al. (2015b) in which—mainly based on statements made by teachers who have exclusivistic opinions and/or work in orthodox Protestant secondary schools— it is argued that the school is primarily a formative rather than a faith community (see Section 1.4). However, teachers’ own role has not previously been described explicitly on an empirical basis for OPPSs in the Netherlands, or more broadly for mono-religious education, as in the current dissertation. Especially in the context of orthodox Protestant education, this new insight that teachers clearly distinguish their role from that of other pedagogical agents is crucial because the similarity between school, church and family tends to be strongly emphasised (see Chapter 4 and Section 5.1). It has already been explained in Chapter 5 that the role of the religious nurturer and the role of the religious educator can be distinguished. These roles are related to a religious commitment as primary concern or an educational and pedagogical commitment as primary concern. In Miedema’s (2017) view, these roles and commitments are mutually exclusive. Whereas that might be true in a theoretical sense, it might instead be more helpful to refer to the difference between these two roles as a continuum rather than as competing roles.78 This is because religious educators will also have their own philosophical sources and normative tenets that guide them and are reflected in their normative professionalism (see Section 1.5). At the same time, the teachers in my study show that, although they have a strong religious commitment, aspects of the religious educator are distinctive for them in their professionalism within religious socialisation (see Chapter 5). Denoting the distinction between roles as a continuum allows for a richer description of professional responsibilities and practices. It might even be the case that the aforementioned dichotomy of religious nurturer versus religious educator unintentionally determines the theoretical discourse of education in general. The observation that teachers in my research consider either mono-religious characteristics or society’s religious diversity but barely interrelate them could be mirroring this. Speaking about mono-religious characteristics is then seen as related to religious 78 Here a comparison could also bemade with the search for a balance by the believer in interreligious dialogue. Moyaert (2011) indicates that in this dialogue there will always be a tension between the believer’s commitment to God on the one hand and openness to the religious other on the other. It is then not a matter of resolving that tension but of constantly seeking a balance. Openness to the religious other has similarities to openness to religious others in society, as suggested in citizenship education.