Hanna de Jong-Markus

Stimulating Inquisitiveness 5 99 and the purpose of his or her first-order activity is that pupils gain greater insight into [the eternal Truth] and strengthen their commitment to it (Grimmitt, 1981). The teachers in our study seemed to consider their religious commitment as primary, but sometimes they mention aspects of educational commitment first, for example, when they highlighted inquisitiveness (Grimmitt, 1981; Miedema, 2018). Thus, the teacher in the role of religious nurturer fits in with the roles of other pedagogical agents, whereas, he or she sometimes diverges from it in the role of religious educator. It would be helpful when teachers themselves can explicitly and more comprehensively define and discuss what their role in religious socialization means (Epstein, 2001, see Introduction). Grimmitt (1981) states it is essential that teachers distinguish their roles in the education of pupils.53 More clarity on their role might then reduce the abrasive views and help teachers to bring their ideals in line with each other, as well as with their teaching practices. As we know from earlier research, the quality of education will be served by that alignment (Markus et al., 2021a). In further research, special interest could be paid to the dynamic we discovered whereby some teachers place themselves in opposition to parents, such as Jasmijn’s idea about welcoming refugees. This is remarkable in the light of discussions about teachers being agents of social change in society, as teachers are often reluctant to engage in “controversial” or political issues (Holden, 2007 in Bourn, 2015; Kleijwegt, 2016; Speelman, 2014). Furthermore, since not all teachers spoke about inquisitiveness explicitly, additional research could clarify whether certain teacher characteristics stimulate or restrict this. It might, for example, be related to the educational attainment of teachers, as we found that most participants who spoke the most about inquisitiveness had an academic background. Overall, since this is a small scale explorative study, further research could provide a fuller picture of the teacher’s role perceptions (e.g., about its impact and its sources). Our results show that the contributions of pedagogical agents to cohesion and cooperation in religious socialization in strong religious communities should not be simply understood as “more of the same.” 53 Miedema (2017) describes the roles and commitments of the religious nurturer and the religious educator as being mutually exclusive. At this point we will highlight the different emphases that come along with these roles.