Hanna de Jong-Markus

General Introduction 23 1 study of Bertram-Troost and colleagues (2013). However, the researchers mention that diversity in the population of these schools is increasing too. Other research relates to the motives and/or ideals of teachers in orthodox Protestant schools. De Muynck (2008) relates that the twenty OPPS teachers interviewed in his study are good representatives of the formal identity of the school, but that in doing so each teacher “[finds] a unique balance between demonstrating loyalty to the body of traditional thought and serving critique on it” (p. 436). This is also reflected in the aspirational main motives of teachers: ensuring security, providing care, knowing and learning to know God, bringing about an awareness of God, prompting inquisitiveness, and wanting to help in development. With regard to the last motive, teachers sometimes express anxiety about the future of their pupils in a secularised society. De Muynck (2008) also points out that teachers in schools with a diverse student population (multiple church denominations) have an alert attitude when dealing with differences. For example, teachers are keenly aware of nuanced differences in parents’ theological or lifestyle views. When it comes to issues that teachers believe have to do with the core of faith or confession, they name how they think about it—even if it contrasts with what pupils bring in. Teachers who work with younger children feel they do not need to address that yet. It also proves to be inspiring for teachers when they have pupils in the classroom with a different church background because the teachers become more aware of their own values, and what is at the core of the faith for them (De Muynck, 2008). Boele and De Muynck (2018) examined how faith is present in the professional ideals of teachers from conservative Protestant primary and secondary schools. It turned out that “teachers’ ultimate end of excellent education seems to be passing their own ideal of a good Christian life on to children” (p. 20), which is living a life as a sincere believer. When it is about how they teach, teachers link their faith to the attitudes and moral behaviour they want to practice, not to their teaching materials or didactics. In a study of what teachers at secondary schools want to achieve with the formation of pupils in relation to their own worldview and the policy of the school, Bertram-Troost and colleagues (2015b) explain that teachers at the two involved orthodox Protestant schools, more than at other schools, explicitly relate the worldview formation objectives to Christianity. It is characteristic of these schools that they want to teach pupils to think from a Christian commitment and that pupils learn to relate to aspects of society from this attitude. This may mean that the educational objective of ‘learning to think critically’ is primarily the adoption of critical perspectives from others (including teachers), and to a lesser extent, for example, ‘thinking for yourself’ or ‘forming your own opinion’. In orthodox Protestant schools, getting to know other religions or religious movements