Hanna de Jong-Markus

168 religious socialisation and whether this differs from the roles of other pedagogical agents. These insights can contribute to the societal discussions about social cohesion and religious socialisation in strong religious schools. Our research question was: What do teachers in OPPSs perceive as their role in religious socialisation, especially in relation to other pedagogical agents? A connection is made with the theory of social capital (Putnam, 2007) as a necessary condition for social cohesion. Social capital consists of both bonding social capital and bridging social capital. Although both can contribute positively to social cohesion, bonding social capital can also have a negative effect when a group’s members isolate themselves from others outside the group. Concerns about whether strong religious schools could contribute to social cohesion could be interpreted as concerns about too much emphasis on bonding rather than bridging social capital in these schools. Furthermore, it is relevant to examine the roles of teachers, since practices and discussions about the education of children should start with clarity on the roles of schools, families and communities. Three different perspectives were used in the analysis of our interview data, namely teachers’ professional ideals, teachers’ perceptions of their roles in relation to other pedagogical agents and what teachers believe and say about “inquisitiveness”. This last perspective can be seen as exemplary for how teachers view their distinct roles. The first perspective is about teachers’ professional ideals. These ideals can be seen as the driving forces that give teachers direction, motivation and inspiration to be a teacher. In our study, teachers described professional ideals that originated from the religious, social-pedagogical and academic domains. The religious ideal that children will be fully committed Christians was predominantly mentioned. This was regularly described as an ideal that stands out above and beyond anything and/or is at work in everything, which is comparable with how teachers speak about the meaning of Christian faith for life and, as they say, for eternal life. The social-pedagogical ideals could be described as pupils feeling themselves safe and valued and teachers hoping to create a good atmosphere in the classroom. Academic ideals were mentioned less often. What was mentioned generally had to do with developing the talents of pupils, to ensure that everyone is at his/her own level. The second perspective was about how teachers conceived of their own role in Christian upbringing, compared to parents, Sunday school teachers or other pedagogical agents. Generally, they perceived that all pedagogical agents strive for the same purpose and that together they provide children with a good foundation. However, teachers also talked about five differences between themselves and other pedagogical agents. First, teachers have other responsibilities: they feel themselves highly responsible, but they think