Hanna de Jong-Markus

Chapter 2 38 The number of years teaching varied from 1.5 to 35, with over 11 years on average. At the time of the interviews, half of the teachers worked at the school were they started their teaching career. All teachers were educated at Christian universities: nine of them at Driestar Christian University for Teacher Education in Gouda, five at Viaa (previously: Gereformeerde hogeschool) in Zwolle, one at Ede Christian University of Applied Sciences (CHE) in Ede, and one attended two of these institutes.22 Fifteen teachers declared that the Christian faith is very important to them, and one participant said it is important. Six participants found themselves very actively involved in their churches, eight actively involved, one slightly involved, and one participant did not answer this question. All participants were confessing members of their church. Participants were attached to the following denominations: Christelijk Gereformeerde Kerken (Christian Reformed Churches) (2), Gereformeerde Gemeenten (Reformed Congregations) (4), Gereformeerde Gemeenten in Nederland (Reformed Congregations in the Netherlands) (1), Gereformeerde Kerken Vrijgemaakt (Reformed Church of the Netherlands (Liberated)) (4), and Protestantse Kerk in Nederland (Protestant Church in the Netherlands) (4). One participant did not clarify their church affiliation. All participants indicated feeling at home in the orthodox Protestant climate, seven of them ‘strongly’ and nine ‘quite strongly’. Participants of the focus groups study (alumni/teacher trainers) The focus groups were meant to provide insight into how the theme of religious diversity has been and is being dealt with in a specific orthodox Protestant teacher education programme. To this end, there were two focus groups with alumni and two focus groups with teacher educators. Selection procedure In order to have participants start talking from a shared context of primary school practices in a given context with the focus on what the teacher education programme contributed in their situations, I aimed to include several participants of the same school in the focus group. Purposeful sampling was used (cf. Evers & De Boer, 2012; Patton, 2015), trying to select primary schools to which there is a steady outflow from Driestar Christian University, in order to ensure enough participants. The teacher education programme manager mentioned two schools that met that criterion. These schools 22 www.driestar-hogeschool.nl, www.viaa.nl and www.che.nl