Hanna de Jong-Markus

170 In this sub-study it is concluded that although the similarity of school, family and church is often stressed within the orthodox Protestant community, it is now proven that for teachers the differences among these environments and the meaning of these differences are important as well. It seems that teachers perceive that they make a specific contribution to religious socialisation and to pupils’ adequate understanding of their family’s religion. When children grasp their primary religious culture and become competent in the ethical reasoning in their own context, it will be easier for them at a later stage to reflect on the religions of others and to be involved in religious dialogs (MacMullen, 2004). In this way, the bonding capital of the school can contribute to pupils’ participation in broader society— the bridging capital. Furthermore, inconsistent views among teachers regarding their roles were regularly observed, which could be clarified by looking at the characteristics of the religious nurturer and the religious educator. The interviewed teachers seemed to consider the religious commitment of the religious nurturer as primary, but sometimes they mentioned the educational commitment of the religious nurturer first. Thus, the teacher in the role of religious nurturer fits in with the roles of other pedagogical agents, whereas they sometimes diverge from it in the role of religious educator. Chapter 6 Distinction, Identification, and Recognition: Teachers in Orthodox Protestant Schools on their Faith and Religious Others91 Since the fourth sub-study (Chapter 5) showed that stimulating inquisitiveness was mainly applied to internal religious diversity, the fifth sub-study questions what teachers perceive about religious others and how that relates to their religious beliefs. Furthermore, in public debates on citizenship education, it is regularly heard that highly religious primary schools cannot sufficiently support tolerance and social cohesion because of their homogeneous populations. This raises the question of how religious others are actually thought of and taught in highly religious schools, which is thus far only little addressed in a few empirical studies. In identifying what teachers in OPPSs believe about religious others, it is overly simplistic to look exclusively at the denomination of the school, because teachers’ beliefs do not automatically reflect the formal identity of their schools. The research question in this sub-study was thus: What do OPPS teachers believe about religious others, and how might this be related to their beliefs about the Christian faith? Religious others (Dutch: niet- of andersgelovigen) were defined as everyone who, from the participants’ perspective, has a different worldview from theirs. Attention was paid to the teachers’ religious beliefs 91 Since orthodox Protestant primary schools and the research methods are already described in the summaries of Chapters 1 and 2, the sections that deal with those topics in this chapter are left out in the summary. The current chapter is based on the individual interviews study.