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    Studies

      Fischer–Dárdai, Ágnes

      History education in Hungary at the beginning of the 21st century

      (Situations and perspectives)

        This paper gives a summary of history education in Hungary from the time of the change of system in 1990. It shows that history didactics could not be emancipated in Hungary’s scientific public life, even though useful international experience appeared on the scene in many developments (curricula, textbooks, exams). The paper sketches the previous and present-day structure of the training of history teachers, including the start of the introduction of the Bologna process and problems encountered. It shows new documents for curriculum (National Curriculum ’95 and 2003), their picture of general education and their role in the modernization of education as competency development was brought to the front. The paper outlines the changing perception of textbooks and their different editorial concepts (source-based) and shows in detail the approach of the new national secondary school-leaving exam for history introduced in 2005, its approach to knowledge, the main features of the exam tasks and the evaluation thereof (competency-based, standardization). The paper deals with the experience of introducing the exam and touches on those elements of the curriculum which changed and those which remained in place. To sum up, it states that several favourable processes have begun in the last two decades, but the necessary paradigm shift can only be achieved over a longer period of time and in the appropriate social environment.



          Kaposi, József

          The international context of the development of the new secondary school-leaving exam in history

            The paper introduces the features of the paradigm shift that took place in the 1990s in the interpretation of history and knowledge as seen in the example of several European countries. It examines the components and the different viewpoints of the interpretation of the didactics of history. It establishes that not only the aspects of processing and curriculum content changed in the teaching of history, but teaching practice changed significantly as learner-centered strategies came into prominence. It notes that the intentions of exam development in Western Europe during the 1990s were also aimed at the standardization of assessment and the establishment of objectivity in the assessment of results.



              Katona, András

              The history of subjects: the stepchildren of the history of education

              The writing of the history of education took a new turn with the change of system in Hungary. However, the history of education has a branch, the history of subjects, about which little can be said of any big step forward. On the one hand because it is only on the most rare occasions that education historians deal seriously with the history of a certain subject; on the other hand, because those dealing with the pedagogy of subjects do not always see this as their task. Nevertheless, it is not perhaps only my role as a history teacher that dictates researchers and teachers of individual school subjects must establish a unified identification of subjects, not only for the course of study in the present but for the past of this course of study: “…the ‘nature’ of the subject cannot be understood entirely without some degree of knowledge of the ‘history’ of the subject.”



                Workshop

                  Workshop and conference on the teaching of history I.

                    At a conference in Budapest in August 2009, nearly 30 experts in higher education, developers of textbooks and other tools of instruction, and secondary school history teachers sought to find the main features of history instruction in the European Union. The opening lecture was by Prof. Elisabeth Erdmann, chairman of the International Society for History Didactics, who established that it is difficult to give a representative picture of history teaching in Europe as there are many different features of the course of instruction in various countries. However, in spite of this, it can generally be said that the following factors affect the teaching of history: the degree of instruction at the type of school within the individual country’s school system (e.g. does history teaching start at the lower level or only later); whether history is taught as an independent or an integrated subject (with other subjects, such as geography or other social studies subjects); and other school forms in the framework of which history is taught. Another shared feature is that the curriculum in European countries lays down the conceptual principles of history education. Furthermore, the qualifications of history teachers are a decisive pillar of the state of the education of history.



                      Csepela, Jánosné

                      A neglected area in task-solving in the teaching of history: learning from graphs and tables

                        Among curriculum requirements is “the skillful use of information media”, seen as natural in adulthood. In the details, one can find – in addition to much else – “knowledge from graphs and tables”. The practicing teacher’s first thought about this is “Sure, great, but when?” A 45-minute hour is not long enough for anything, so when would the time-consuming examination and interpretation of “dry” data fit in? In spite of this, it is worthwhile from time to time to spend a few minutes in the hour processing statistical data because it supports a better understanding of the stand of the textbook as well as versatile concept forming. Adapted to the age group (evolution of thinking about pictures and concepts), they help “make facts more visible”. One can recognize cause-and-effect relationships, trends, similarities and differences, our situation compared with other regions, etc. Continuous development from an early age makes it possible to interpret data from mass media with confidence as an adult.



                          Sávoly, Mária

                          History Teaching or History Education

                          (an urgent change of approach)

                            The area of school education, and within this, history education, has not been unaffected by the challenges of the 21st century, the crisis of traditional cultural and the fast tempo of cultural change. The author of the paper thinks members of society have to be aware of their historical roots, and their primary exposure to this comes in the course of history education in school. The word of the teacher and its “inscription” on the students alone is not certain to give young people enough knowledge to allow them to navigate the flood of information, recognise the intentions behind words and promises, form opinions of people, groups, programmes, statistical data, and be able to give an evaluation. According to the author, a change in approach is necessary: instead of the concept of history teaching, the expression history education has to be used, so that the hour in which new material is presented can be replaced by the hour in which new material is processed among the types of history lessons.




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