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      Tomka, Béla

      Why do we study history?
      Declared and concealed goals

        The research and presentation of history may be socially valuable as well as worthless: it may serve noble intentions, but its aim may also be to manipulate and to spread false information or myths. In the following, we review important motives that may stand behind the study and use of history. In the course of this, we differentiate between declared and concealed goals. The former are admitted openly by those who deal with history, while the aspirations that belong to the other group are often concealed from the public, but regardless of this, their social significance may be great.

          Gyertyánfy, András

          From narrative to sources, from sources to narrative. Changes to the focusses of history teaching

            The author presents those theories that have defined the teaching of history since the middle of the 20th century. On the basis of an analysis of professional literature on history didactics, he attempts to show the impact of some of these theories on the teaching of history in Germany and the United Kingdom. He establishes that in the teaching of history in Germany, the narrative-based approach has replaced the source-based approach as the result of narrative theories, while history teaching in the UK has been source-based since the 1970s, although a shift in the direction of the narrative-based approach has been seen for some time. In the second part of the study, he seeks an answer to the question of whether history teaching in Hungary is source-based, as is generally thought. He collects significant narrative aspects of recent professional literature on history didactics published in Hungary (and tangentially of the curriculum requirements). In his assessment, these disprove this generally accepted assumption. Finally, he makes arguments for the broader application of the narrative-based approach in Hungary.

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                Hermann, Róbert

                The writer Artúr Görgei

                  Artúr Görgei was a general and, for a time, Minister of War and Commander of the Army, in the Hungarian Revolution and War of Independence of 1848-1849. Although his memoirs were published in German in 1852 and in Hungarian in 1911 and 1988, the general’s writings before and after 1852 in dailies, weeklies, periodicals and occasionally collected in small volumes, has become accessible only now. In many cases, these writings complement and balance assertions in his memoirs and offer a glimpse into the intellect of an exceptional mind. We present the introductory study to the volume published on the 200th anniversary of the birth of Artúr Görgei, in which the references in bold draw attention to some excerpts from the text.


                      Somogyvári, Lajos

                      State-supported political caricature in the “soft dictatorship”
                      Kádár tableau from 1963

                        The caricature, by its very nature, criticizes the existing regime and has the character of opposition – it has functions similar to the generally accepted, dominant definition of intellectuals. Intellectuals have been in the service of power in all ages, and they have created caricatures at the behest of those in power, because taking advantage of the tension and release created when parodying leaders could serve as a kind of relief valve for society. The image sources presented here, useful in history teaching, attempted to nuance the consolidating self-image of the Kádár regime with the creation of the image of a lovable, personable politician: the intention of directed state propaganda can be detected behind the apparent criticism.

                          Sárhegyi, Tamás Felicián

                          The depiction of the change of system in secondary school history textbooks

                            The fact, history, concept and consequences of the change of system, the role it plays in political and historical discourse is a primary and secondary experience for the contemporary generation. Students are exposed to this topic in the school environment in part in the framework of the subject of history. The documents that appear credible in the process of understanding the topic are secondary school history and geography textbooks written on the basis of curriculum requirements. This study does not go beyond the framework of didactics and textbook research with the exception of a short chapter on historical discourse. Its primary goal is to formulate recommendations on the representation and display of textbooks on the topic at hand, because the expectations of the age in which we live, as compiled in various documents on curriculum, do not necessarily appear consistently in the world of textbooks. The unified description and depiction of the topic is important because instruction in civic duty and democracy must be one of the primary goals of instruction and a factor considered especially when teaching the subject of history, as prescribed as well by the current National Core Curriculum. Moreover, the subject of history includes ‘civics’, which has long been taught in Western Europe. In addition to instructing in democracy – according to the curriculum requirements – instruction in national identity must also take place: „The foundation for the functioning of public life built on the rule of law in a democratic state under the rule of law is the participation of citizens, which strengthens national identity and cohesion, creating harmony between individual goals and the public good.”