Dutch non-affiliated pre-vocational pupils, their world view and religious education

Eline Minnaar-Kuiper*, Gerdien Bertram-Troost

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


More and more, Dutch adolescents are no longer affiliated with or involved in institutionalised religious world views. This development raises questions on how religion is treated and taught in secondary schools in the Netherlands. In order to reconsider religious education within these schools, closer insights into this particular, growing, group of pupils is needed. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to gain knowledge on how pupils from third-grade pre-vocational secondary education [In Dutch: vmbo], who are not affiliated with or involved in an organised world view, perceive the way their world view is being shaped. Ten pupils (14–16 years old) were interviewed about their world view formation process and about potential influential factors. The results showed that pupils emphasised that they are in charge of their world view formation process. Based on trust, they choose their own norms and values and answers to life questions from various sources. Religious education in school seemed only influential if pupils can relate the content of lessons to questions and experiences they have in their own lives. Findings suggest rethinking the content and the role of teachers of religious education in school in light of what non-affiliated pupils learn about world view at from home and other sources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-13
Number of pages11
JournalBritish Journal of Religious Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2020


  • influential factors
  • pre-vocational secondary education
  • religious education
  • World view


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