Hanna de Jong-Markus

Chapter 4 70 as important and cooperative pedagogical actors in a child’s socialization, and because they are members of the same relatively strong religious communities, literature on the school choice motives of parents are a good entry to our topic. Seeing that, from a social identity perspective, religious identification seems to be an extremely powerful force guiding psychological and social processes, this membership may be seen as influential in their choices (Ysseldyk et al., 2010). In our investigative research on parents’ school choice considerations, we focus on Dutch studies published since 2000 involving OPPSs and/or orthodox Protestant parents. Dutch parents, in general, primarily consider the school’s quality, accessibility, and worldview when they choose a school (Dijkstra & Miedema, 2003; Herweijer & Vogels, 2004). In the past, religious motives were the most important, but, today, the school’s worldview no longer plays a role or not amajor role in the choice of public and Roman Catholic schools.35 However, for parents at mainline Protestant schools, this has remained important or most important, and this is even more the case for OPPS parents (Dijkstra & Miedema, 2003; Herweijer & Vogels, 2004). In comparison with the parents of pupils at public, Roman Catholic, and mainline Protestant schools, parents of OPPS pupils found it more important that the education at home and at school adjoin one another and that the pupils in schools have comparable religious backgrounds (Dijkstra & Miedema, 2003). A study on Dutch parents (N = 568) that recently involved the process of choosing a primary school showed that 89% of the orthodox Protestant parents found it important or very important that the school pays a great deal of attention to religion and worldview. For the total group of parents, however, only 38% rated this as important or very important (TNS Nipo, 2016). Parents of more or less orthodox Protestant primary schools seemed to stress the importance of continuity between home and school more than the parents of other Protestant schools (Ter Avest et al., 2015). The findings of the abovementioned research indicate that the school choice of OPPS parents stands out from that of the parents of other Christian schools, as OPPS parents place a stronger emphasis on the school’s religious dimension. They also highlight the close connection between home and school. Dijkstra and Miedema (2003, p. 12) state that the choice of a school which corresponds to the parents’ own religious preferences relates to “the desire to socialize children within a particular religious tradition, in accordance with religious or ecclesiastical doctrine; or 35 It can still function implicitly as an argument, for worldview is also included in opinions about the quality of a school (Herweijer & Vogels, 2004).