Hanna de Jong-Markus

Methods 2 37 The preference for a 5th or 4th grade teacher is based on the value of clearly making a distinction from secondary education, therefore I did not choose the final year of primary school. On the other hand, I also opted for teachers of pupils who were not too young, as it was expected that the topic of religious diversity might be more present for older than younger pupils in primary schools—it is commonly heard that orthodox Protestants say there can be gradually more openness towards religious others when children grow older. Description of participants Sixteen teachers of fifteen different schools participated in this study: Adam, Anna, Danïel, Emma, Femke, Floris, Gijs, Hugo, Jan, Jasmijn, Lieke, Luuk, Nora, Ruben, Sanne and Teun—all fictitious names in order to preserve participants’ confidentiality. Lieke and Sanne are teachers at the same school (school type VI), who worked in the same grade but in different classes. They only wanted to participate if they could be interviewed together. There were seven women and nine men. Most participated during their free time. Participants received a small present for their participation, and their school teams were invited to attend a presentation of the results of the study. Because of the confidentiality, I do not relate any more details of the specific participants. Instead, I describe the total groupof participants by focusing on their age, workplace situation, teaching experience and some religious characteristics. These background characteristics were collected by using a small written questionnaire with close-ended questions developed by De Muynck (2008), who also interviewed OPPS teachers (see Appendix III). The oldest participant in the year of the interviews was 59 (born 1957), the youngest 23 (born 1993). Participants were on average 35 years old. Seven participants were between ages 28 and 30 (born 1986, 1987 or 1988). The teachers came from seven Reformed schools, four Reformed Liberated schools and five Protestant schools. At least seven of these schools have an open admission policy for pupils, which means that all children are essentially welcome, irrespective of church affiliation. Their parents are asked to respect the school’s identity and mission. Most teachers worked (almost) full-time, with 0.62 FTE as lowest and 0.9 FTE on average. Participants considered themselves representative of orthodox Protestant education to a large extent (7), to a slightly large extent (7.5)21 and to a fair extent (1.5). All teachers agreed with the statement “I have a critical stance on what is happening in orthodox Protestant education”, nine of them ‘strongly’ and seven ‘slightly’. 21 One participant selected both ‘to a slightly large extent’ and ‘to a fair extent’. This one was counted as 0.5 for each option.