Hanna de Jong-Markus

Methods 2 35 between participants can provide in-depth insights into consensus and disagreement (cf. Evers & De Boer, 2012; Morgan & Hoffman, 2018), which are both relevant to cover the breadth of opinions around a possibly tense topic within an institution. Lastly, focus groups also fit the context of the study because encouraging participants to further think and reflect on their daily practices was desirable (cf. Evers & De Boer, 2007; Patton, 2015). For the focus groups a research assistant contributed to the data collection and data analysis, while I was the main researcher. In the following sections I discuss the details of the individual interviews study, followed by the details of the focus groups study. 2.2 Participants Participants of the individual interviews study (teachers) Qualitative research makes use of relatively small samples of information-rich cases for in-depth study (Crouch & McKenzie, 2006; Holliday, 2007; Patton, 2015). These cases are purposefully selected. In this study, I wanted to capture ideas about the religiously diverse society and the mono-religious characteristics of OPPSs across the research group of OPPS teachers. Because there is substantial variation among OPPSs, I used a sampling strategy of aiming for maximum variation (Patton, 2015). This strategy is based on the following reasoning: “Any common patterns that emerge from great variation are of particular interest and value in capturing the core experiences and central, shared dimensions of a setting or phenomenon.” (Patton, 2015, p. 283). The selection criteria cannot be viewed as variables, and neither can the sample be generalized to the whole population (Holliday, 2007; Patton, 2015). Selection criteria The participants are individual teachers. However, the sampling was based on school characteristics because the particular mono-religious school characteristics were the starting point of this study (see Appendix II). It was also less complicated to take school characteristics as starting point than looking for variation in teacher characteristics, because the latter are not readily available in datasets. I assumed a variety of teacher characteristics, like age, years of teaching experience or church affiliation, to be present in the sample. For practical reasons all schools were located within a 50-km radius of Utrecht, a mix of Bible belt and urban regions. To further ensure maximum variation, I did not involve more than one school in the same town. As selection criteria, the school’s denomination (Reformed/