Hanna de Jong-Markus

General Introduction 29 1 education in subquestion 5: What do alumni and teacher educators identify as being significant for primary school teachers’ learning about religious diversity in orthodox Protestant teacher education? Research aims Because little is known about the topic, this study has an exploratory character. The first aim is to fill the gap of scholarly, empirical understanding of strong religious schools in plural societies. Second, the findings can inform the debate about the position of strong religious schools in a diverse society. Third, the findings may provide potential starting points for teachers, teacher trainers, education advisors, policymakers and others to further promote reflections on social cohesion in OPPSs. In line with the latter, the implementation of the research itself may also stimulate reflection on the central theme by participants and other parties involved in this study. Although the study focuses on OPPSs in the Netherlands, it is expected to be transferable (cf. Korstjens & Moser, 2018; Smaling, 2009) to other contexts, given that similar social issues surrounding religious schools are at play elsewhere in the Western world too. 1.7 Outline and Responsibilities The next chapters report on the execution of the research introduced in this chapter. Each of the subquestions introduced in Section 1.6 are addressed in separate articles that have been published in, accepted by or submitted to academic peer-reviewed journals.14 These articles reappear in full as chapters in this dissertation.15 Although a methodology section can be found in each of those chapters, the research method used in the research project is explained in more detail in Chapter 2. Chapter 3 provides the theoretical basis for this research (subquestion 1). Chapters 4 and 5 describe empirical results that mainly have to do with the mono-religious characteristics of OPPSs (subquestions 2 and 3). Beginning with Chapter 6, the focus turns to the religious diversity of society (subquestion 4); Chapter 7 deals particularly with teacher education (subquestion 5). Finally, Chapter 8 contains the conclusions of the study, namely the answer on the central research question, and reflections on these conclusions. This outline of chapters and research questions is visualised in figure 1. 14 See ‘Citation Information’ for an overview of the articles and the specific journals. 15 For purposes of consistency, in all chapters the APA Publication Manual (7th edition) is used as reference style, although in some articles originally a different reference system was used due to the requirements of the specific journal. Although British English has been used in this dissertation, American English has been maintained in the chapters originally published as such.