Education

We are interested in all kinds of questions regarding religious education in our society. Religious education can take place within the contexts of families, schools and/or religious communities. Although we are interested in all these domains, in specific projects we mainly focus on one of the three domains. At the moment the strongest focus is on religious education in schools. In different projects we concentrate either on primary or secondary education, public or denominational schools, multireligious or monoreligious schools.

Leading questions are: 'How do Christian primary schools give shape to their identity in this secular age?', 'Why do non-Christian parents choose a Christian primary school for their children?', 'To what degree are pupils who attend a monoreligious school (with relatively little religious diversity) prepared for a life in a multireligious society?', 'To what degree could interreligious education be an answer to societal questions regarding (religious) polarization?' On a European level we are also involved in a comparison of the potentials and limitations of religion in schools in the educational systems of several European countries. Overarching question in this study is: 'What role can religion in education play concerning the way pupils perceive religious diversity?'

A second focus is on learning processes, especially of young adults. We want to know how people "learn to believe" and how faith changes in the course of life: `What is influential in different stages of life and what can be identified as a stimulus for faith development?'

Our research is both empirical and theoretical. In our empirical fieldwork we use both quantitative and qualitative methods.

Dr. Alma Lanser:  Associate Professor in Religious Education, Supervisor and Coach, and Dean of Education in the Board of the Faculty of Theology.

Dr. Gerdien Bertram-Troost:  Assistant Professor of Religious Education in both the Faculty of Psychology and Education (since 2009), and the Faculty of Theology (since 2013).