Ahhoz, hogy tudjuk, merre tartunk, mit akarunk,
tudnunk kell, hogy kik vagyunk és honnan jövünk.


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Balatoni, Monika

The incomplete value system of enculturation, or how the agents of national memory appear among young people in Hungary

    The civic values of 21st century man, the traditions of his own national culture, and the acquisition of this system of symbols are undergoing a transformation. The sustainability of the process of national enculturation and the significant impact of the media pose serious challenges to state leaders, those who shape school systems and methodologies, and people in the cultural sphere. The state may be among the most effective and dominant actors of enculturation, maintaining those institutions, shaping their methods, determining their direction through financing, and often laying down content, legally defining state symbols that are important from the point of view of citizens. Within this, the traditional cultural acceptance and historical memory of the younger generation are especially interesting.

    The concept of enculturation was introduced by M. J. Herskovits. Enculturation, the most comprehensive learning process, is the acquisition of basic skills that are absolutely necessary for every person in every society, realized with the help of institutions and forms of activity established by society and achieved through education.

    The acquisition of these basic skills is absolutely necessary in Hungarian society, too, and is achieved with the help of institutions and forms of activity established by society, such as language, religion, technology, art, sports, and education. Education is the most important tool for reproducing the culture of a society in the individual and passing it on through the generations. This study includes some research data representing the national memory of young people (15-29 years old).


    Katona, András

    The past and notable personalities of Hungarian history didactics I.

    The beginnings (18th-19th centuries)

      At the end of the 18th century and early in the 19th century, the science of pedagogy unified until then, started to differentiate between educational and instructional theory. Later, a new branch of science emerged from didactics, the topics of which were defined in part by applied didactics and in part by the research of special instructional issues of certain subjects. A mutual relationship was formed between didactics and the newly emerging methods. Didactics were generalized from the results of certain methodologies, while the methods adapted these generalities, applied them and researched their specific conformity to teaching-learning principles in the instruction of certain subjects. Thus we have progressed from the method, via methodologies and subject pedagogy, to didactics. Scientific works on the issues of history teaching and learning appeared in German-speaking areas from the first half of the 19th century and in Hungary from the Age of Dualism. In the decades after WWII, history didactics became more or less an independent branch of science in Hungary and abroad, attached rather to the study of history in the West but to pedagogy in Hungary. We review this path of development from the start to the present day in our series exploring the history of research in the teaching of our subject, first based on the work of the most important Hungarian authors, and the coalescence of that work.

      In the first part, we go back to the roots of the slowly forming didactics of history in the 18th-19th centuries, from the beginnings in the era of Maria Theresa’s Ratio Educationis edict on compulsory basic education, through the first initiatives that took shape in the Reform Era (János Szilasy, János Ángyán), to the first syntheses of the Age of Dualism (János Erdődi, Áron Kiss and Miksa Mayer, Sándor Fazekas, Bertalan Vass). We offer a glimpse into the debates related to history teaching at the end of the 19th century that appeared at the first National Historians Congress, culminating first in the work of Mór Kármán and then Sándor Márki. We can acknowledge that Hungarian researchers initially worked in the shadow of German pedagogy and history didactics, but quickly caught up with the contemporary European vanguard.


      Latest issues


      “The teacher must always radiate hope”
      Interview with András Katona

      (prepared by András Gyertyánfy)

        András Katona worked as a subject and pedagogical teacher in the History Department of the Faculty of the ELTE Teacher Training College for four decades. After the college was wound up in 2003, he continued his work at the ELTE Faculty of Humanities History Institute. Since his retirement in 2012, he has remained professionally active, working as the editor of the History Teaching online journal of history didactics. It was on his initiative that the journal, earlier published in paper form, was revived in digital form in 2010. His book, Half a Century in the Service of History Teaching, a selection of his history teaching-pedagogical oeuvre, was recently published by the Hungarian Historical Society. On this occasion we spoke with the 75-year-old author about his career and professional experience.




        Farkas, Katalin

        Systematizing and synthesizing reviewing – preparation for school leaving examination in history.

          The purpose of this study is to map out and delve further into the practice of preparing for the school leaving examination in history. The author presents the theoretical background of the systematization and synthesizing of reviewing from which she deduces the necessity of reviewing ahead of the school leaving examination as well as the complexity of goals. After presenting the legal context of the school leaving examination, she analyzes the results of two research surveys she conducted in 2020-2021 with the participation of university students and teachers. The survey questions focused on time spent, methods, content and forms of work related to preparing for the school leaving examination. In conclusion, the author proposes a rethink of the practice of preparing for the school leaving examination that would devote more attention to thematic review, systematization and independent task solving.


          Illik, Péter

          Mao, the Real Man, or how to make a historical narrative

            The premise of the film Mao, the Real Man is that Mao Zedong had a brother. From this, it deduces from generally accepted facts the fabricated conclusion that Mao and Khrushchev knew each other personally and that their fight over a woman (a modern retelling of the Trojan myth) provided the context for the Cold War. This paper describes the plot of the film and the techniques it uses to make its assertions credible. It also presents ways, including methods and goals, to use the mockumentary as a teaching tool in the secondary school classroom. It takes a detour in the direction of postmodern historical theory and attempts to examine the issue of credibility and truth in history. This is of increasing relevancy as more and more historical films are released in Hungary, bringing the question of credibility to the forefront.