Hanna de Jong-Markus

Stimulating Inquisitiveness 5 95 to religious socialization because it reaches toward understanding and it shows teachers taking a different role than that of others. We use “inquisitiveness” as the translation of the Dutch verb “doorvragen,” which, on the basis of our findings, could be described as “not taking a statement, answer, or situation for granted, but asking critical questions in order to deepen one’s understanding of phenomenon, as well as others’ perspectives of it.” According to the teachers, inquisitiveness is essential for people in order to develop their own opinions, to know why they have these opinions, and to be aware of other opinions. They believe that, in this way, people can overcome narrow-mindedness, are more deeply rooted in their faith, and can have more respect for people with other opinions. Jasmijn expressed this idea clearly: I hope that pupils have their own opinions and their own views on the world when they leave school. It is my experience that pupils from traditional families many times parrot their parents; it is often about Biblical issues. Then I realize, I really want the pupils to think things through for themselves. Sometimes, teachers gave examples of involving inquisitiveness with regard to other than Christian worldviews. Nora, for example, told about showing a documentary on Buddhists living in extremely high mountains who offered the dead to vultures. She went on to explain this: I really enjoy talking things through with the children. ( … ) Because this documentary presents something from another place just like it is. ( … ) We can discuss it with each other: “What did you see happening? Why is this happening? What do you think about it?” Other examples are reflections on the beliefs of Muslims and references to Jewish people celebrating Sabbath on Saturdays. However, most of the time, participants referred to inquisitiveness with regard to different opinions and practices among Christians, such as about Bible translations and properly spending Sundays. In these issues, participants regularly positioned themselves opposite of the parents. For instance, Nora said, “I think [pupils] are raised with an oversimplified view, which will give problems when they become teenagers because, by then, they will not think for themselves.” Around the issue of refugees,52 we saw similar reactions of teachers, such as Jasmijn who said: 52 At the time of the interviews, the biggest refugee crisis since World War II occurred in the European countries (European Commission, 2016).