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Historians on the Treaty of Trianon

Salamon Konrád, Pritz Pál, Jeszenszky Géza, Illik Péter, Köő Artúr

    On the 100th anniversary of the Treaty of Trianon we asked historians for their professional opinions and assessments, thus commemorating this sad anniversary in a professional manner and sending a message to our teacher colleagues in the columns of our journal. The materials that arrived, for which we thank everyone who has cooperated, show an interesting and colorful picture. The work of Konrád Salamon sums up and weighs causes in a professionally appropriate manner, Pál Pritz’s vivid paper places the events in a context spanning several centuries, Géza Jeszenszky convincingly summarizes what the younger generations need to know. Two young historians examine the event from a particular aspect: Péter Illik with regard to the Battle of Mohács and Artúr Köő from the point of view of education policy at the beginning of the 20th century. Some papers seek a way out of the snare into which we were placed by the Treaty of Trianon and the Paris Peace Treaties which confirmed its finality. What is important is knowing about it, not remaining silent about it as was typical in the so-called period of socialism, rather to try to heal, or at least manage, the wounds caused by the Treaty of Trianon by adopting an intelligent policy concerning ethnic Hungarians and by taking advantage of the opportunities offered by European integration. Let us not forget, but let us look forward!


    Fodor, Richárd – Kojanitz, László

    Assessing the historical significance of Trianon among high school students

      The treaty of Trianon is 100 years old. Numerous scientific and informative publications have been written by Historians introducing new perspectives of the treaty and its consequences in Hungary, however the didactic angle of students in the educational system has not been investigated. The research group of the Hungarian Historical Society Teachers’ Division has made an attempt at discovering the role of Trianon in the historical consciousness of secondary school students. During the spring of 2020 a survey type research tool was developed, and a pilot test was conducted. After the first experiences and modifications several schools were approached with the research tool and the results were coded, analysed and synthesised. The most significant outcomes of the study include the role of History in the everyday life of students, the importance of secondary level history teaching, the evaluation of historical events, persons, concepts and the relevance of Trianon in the students’ minds.


      Kojanitz, László

      Teaching and learning of key concepts I.


        The use of key concepts is a priority task in the new 2020 history curriculum, too. They are the following: cause, consequence, change and continuity, fact and evidence, historical time, historical source, historical significance. Knowledge related to these key concepts does not develop on its own, that is, it does not come from just students learning about historical events. Time spent on consciously developing them generates manifold returns, because their meaningful use creates ever more improved conditions for learning about individual historical events. If accurate and nuanced ideas develop in students about the genuine meaning of discovering historical cause or historical changes, they will be capable of thinking, speaking and debating at a much higher level, regardless of the historical topic that comes up later. Thus it is worthwhile, from the start, to connect the development of skills involving sources of knowledge with a deeper knowledge necessary for the understanding and application of second-order concepts. The purpose of this series of articles on history didactics is to offer recommendations and ideas for the teaching of second-order concepts.


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        Resources for the introduction of the 2020 history framework curricula I.

        Data (terms) in the modified 2012 and 2020 curricula (grades 5-6 and 9-10)

          From September 2020, the modified curricula will be introduced by grade in ascending order. For a period of three years, two curricula will be used simultaneously, until the full adoption in the 2023/2024 school year of the modified version in both primary and secondary schools. To make things easier during this transitional period, we have prepared resources which list the data (terms) of the 2012 and the 2020 curricula side by side: interpretive and content key concepts, including names of historical figures, chronological and topographical data, ordered by school year, historical period, and thematic area. We have also created a section in the middle that contains the requirements common to the two framework curricula. In our first publication, we have assembled the relevant requirements for grades 5-6 in primary school and grades 9-10 in secondary school. At the end of the resource, we also list the definitions of concepts that are missing from the history matriculation exam list for grades 9-10.




          Katona, András

          Treaty of Trianon’s “renaissance” in the history books of the democratic Hungary (1990-2020)

          1. The treatment of Trianon in primary school textbooksA cím angol nyelven

            The Hungarian peace treaty that closed WWI, that dismantled the thousand-year-old historical Hungary, reducing its territory to a third, and forcing about one-third of Hungarians, almost three-and-a-half million of our compatriots, under the rule of successor states, was signed 100 years ago in the Grand Trianon palace of Versailles. At the same time, Hungary – following the Turkish occupation and Habsburg rule – won back its full independence and became a nation state with about 90% of its inhabitants being Hungarian, while most of the ethnic groups who lived here earlier became part of their own existing states or newly established ones. The big question was whether this truncated Hungary would prove to be viable, how would the new leaders of the nation and the country be able to process this new condition, the descent from a middle power in the monarchy to one among the small states, not to mention the loss of a considerable part of our industry, forests, mines, railway network, flourishing cities, significant universities, cultural centres and schools, which was also compounded by serious reparations. Our paper examines the teaching of the topic of Trianon through a probe of primary school textbooks, while also marking this sorrowful centennial.


            Jakab, György

            Notes on the National Textbook Project

              The National Textbook project established by Zsolt Keserue and his teacher-student colleagues is a collaborative artistic initiative that reinterprets the issue of the national identity and the historical past with the help of critical pedagogy. The National Textbook is a work of art with symbolic value, a collage book that shows chronologically the events of Hungarian history using highlighted relevant text and picture materials from foreign textbooks. The archive of foreign secondary school history textbooks that serves as the basis for the project has been continuously expanding since 2010. The parts of the archived material that deal with Hungarian history are processed jointly by secondary school pupils and their history teachers at workshops held on a regular basis. There they compare the divergent and often conflicting narratives of the historical memory of different nations. The project will be expanded with another element later: a so-called stereotype collection has been established with the active participation of the secondary school students. Students participating in the project have collected stereotypes of Hungarians from their foreign acquaintances that have been visualized and put on display with the help of artistic works (drawings, posters, videos, animations and models). The full collage book is available, in Hungarian translation, on a searchable website (http://archiv.nationaltextbook.hu/index).



                Vajda, Barnabás – Nagy, Tibor

                The topic of the Treaty of Trianon in Slovak textbooks from 1989 to the present
                (Some didactical aspects regarding the Slovak treatment of the topic)

                  The authors of the present study have made a research over the topic of the Trianon Peace Treaty in the contemporary (post-1989) Slovak history textbook and school atlases. While evaluating these school textbooks, the authors’ main aspect of assessment was the didactical quality, in other words, beyond checking upon the appearance of the Trianon topic in the books at all, authors have been seeking answers to the following questions: What are the general didactical features of the books under survey, and through what didactical ways and means (descriptive text, sources, tasks, questions) is the topic of Trianon dealt with in them? How exactly and to what extent are modern teaching methods applied in the Slovak textbooks, namely the skills-oriented deep learning which is based on using multi-perspective sources? The edition dates of the textbooks range from 1996 to 2011. The authors’ main findings include that even though there are some good examples of didactically modern approaches to the issue, most contemporary Slovak school history textbooks and atlases deal with the topic of Trianon exclusively from Slovak national perspective.