Hanna de Jong-Markus

Chapter 2 42 As interviewer I came as a representative of Driestar Christian University for Teacher Education, which is a Reformed institute. I was aware that participants might expect me to be ‘one of them’, which included knowing specific religious language and/or religious subcultures. However, I mentioned in the introduction to each interview that I would always probe, regardless of whether participants thought I should ‘understand’. Most of the time the interviews had a conversational style (cf. Patton, 2015). There were moments of laughter and things move naturally from one topic to another. Participants seemed to feel comfortable: they shared personal information, like about being bullied, and some expressed things that they would have normally never said out loud to the school board. In the second interview participants referred to details of the first interviews, which shows that they were attentively involved. The interviews were audio recorded. During the interviews I wrote down some key words of topics that I wanted to ask further questions about. I noted more or less extensively some reflections about the participants and the interviews before and after the interview, and after checking the transcripts. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and lightly edited by an external transcriber to improve legibility. Within four weeks after an interview I checked by listening to the recording and reading along the transcript. At that point I also replaced with pseudonyms or neutral descriptions any names or personal facts that could lead to identification of the participants. Data collection and research instrument of the focus groups study Two researchers were present at all four focus groups. I functioned as the lead researcher, who was responsible for moderating and interviewing. The second researcher23 assisted and focused on facilitating the group and recording the data through notes and recordings (cf. Patton, 2015). In this process a less structured approach was deliberately chosen, which means, among other things, that participants could speak to each other and not only to the moderator (Evers & De Boer, 2012). To ensure that similar themes were covered in the different focus groups, a conversation guide was used (cf. Evers & De Boer, 2012). Conversation guides The semi-structured conversation guides with open questions were designed based on the results and experiences from the main study. The guides were structured as follows: an opening question (short question to help participants get to know each other), an 23 In focus group 1 the second researcher was Prof. dr. Bram de Muynck, in the other focus groups Daniël Bos MSc contributed.