Hanna de Jong-Markus

Chapter 8 152 More insights in the background variables could also be gained with another qualitative study. Given that the aim of the current exploratory study was primarily to capture the range of beliefs that exist among teachers in OPPSs (see Section 2.1), the data were not distinguished by the participants’ backgrounds. An alternative approach that focuses more on the ‘portrait’ of the individual teacher (cf. Patton, 2015) may offer additional insights into aspects like teacher professional development and differences among teachers, therefore also constituting a valuable follow-up to the current study. Such an approach could also provide a more detailed vista of the inconsistent views I encountered. Apart from a few recognisable examples of individual teachers, these now emerge particularly within the whole of the group of participants. It would be very interesting to examine how orthodox Protestant teachers who, in contrast to this study’s participants, have not chosen an orthodox Protestant institute for their professional training and/or an orthodox Protestant work environment, view the central themes of this study (cf. Paul-Binyamin & Potchter, 2020). They seem to be the ones who have consciously or unconsciously looked for more external religious diversity. This provides an important mirror for those teachers who have remained in orthodox Protestant education, plus can inform teacher educators. Current research focuses on the beliefs of teachers, since these are seen as a good starting point to gain more insights on what teachers will do in the classroom (see Section 3.4). For follow-up research, the challenge lies in examining the extent to which teachers’ beliefs are expressed ineducational practices andwhat effect that has onpupils:What arepupils actually learning? My research invites examination of practices of both citizenship education and religious socialisation, as well as their overlap. With regard to dealing with religious diversity, it is especially relevant to examine the extent to which the conditions mentioned by various authors (e.g., MacMullen, 2004; Merry, 2005) for religious socialisationwithin religious schools (see Section 3.3) are recognisable. That would provide insights to further operationalise the recommendations for teacher education programmes that equip teachers for their specific role in religious socialisation. In addition to what is noted in Section 8.3, it would be helpful to improve insights into the range of religious diversity that is given attention in primary schools, secondary schools and professional training. Based on current research, I expect internal religious diversity to obtain the most attention in all phases, although teachers indicate that in the next phase their pupils will encounter more religious diversity. Lastly, the results and the involvement of the teacher education institute85 in the current research project invites incorporating the conclusions of this study into an educational 85 It is important to stress that the teacher training institute explicitly gave me all the space to conduct this research and share my conclusions, independently of what these findings would be.