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Kojanitz, László

The difficulties of teaching historical concepts

    When planning ahead of teaching a new topic or era of history, we generally first weigh the events, phenomena and problems with which we definitely want to deal in the lesson. We decide on the relevant issues on which we will focus. Taking into account time constraints, we select the sources that we think will drum up interest, support a better understanding of the period or offer an opportunity to debate divergent interpretations. Finally, we put together the preliminary outline of the lesson content as well as tasks and questions for independent student work. Meanwhile, it is not easy to gauge the scale of the conceptual apparatus that must be mobilized and constructed to allow the students to think and speak about what they have learned in a meaningful manner. Which concepts need to be learned anew, and which ones must be recalled from those learned earlier? This is especially difficult to plan in the case of a complex topic, such as the Kádár Era. If for no other reason than that a debate among historians continues today over which concepts can accurately describe what happened then.


    Katona, András

    The past and notable personalities of Hungarian history didactics II.

    From the national spirit to internationalism: The early 20th century until Trianon

      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.

      A synthesis of history didactics, promising consolidation, started in the 20th century. The work of Sándor Márki defined history teaching with a national spirit in the context of the millennium celebrations as historic Hungary was still believed to be flourishing. However, in the last decades of dualism, there appeared, one after the other, ideological tendencies (Bourgeois Radical, Socialism) as well as political and methodological reform movements that in some cases aimed to place history didactics on entirely new foundations. All of this took place in a short period of time in the second decade of the century against the backdrop of war, revolutions and the peace dictate. With the counter-revolution that followed the dissolution of the commune, history didactics took a radically different direction.


      Latest issues


      References from the recent past of our history teaching V.

      Kaposi, József: Between two curricula

      Topics and Study Aids I-II for the school-leaving exam and university admission in history 1993/1994

        One of the most interesting and most promising periods of history teaching in Hungary were the few years before and after the change of system. This period, with its transitional nature and lack of regulation, „produced” many new professional approaches and initiatives, as well as principles that have defined history teaching for the past 30 years, professional workshops, exemplary teachers and textbook authors. While the documents presented here as sources had the stated intention of serving the smooth implementation of the 1994 school-leaving and admissions examinations, they show well the way of thinking and practice of history teaching at the time, as well as the intentions and possibilities of educational policy during the period in terms of renewing and modifying the content of history teaching.




        Bagó, Rebeka

        Flipped classroom as an organizational method for education

          We have the freedom to decide the organizational methods we use in our lessons. In the course of frontal teaching, students have an insufficient role in the classroom. New educational methods strive to overcome these problems and give students a bigger role, indicating a tendency toward learner-centered methodologies. My paper discusses the theoretical and practical context of the flipped classroom model. I attempt to clearly demonstrate the application, the advantages and the unembellished disadvantages of the flipped classroom model.


          Szalai, Eszter Blanka

          Experiences during the period of distance learning with LearningApps and the Nemzeti Közoktatási Portál (National Public Education Portal)

            In this paper, I would like to report on my experience using LearningApps and the Nemzeti Közoktatási Portál (National Public Education Portal) in history lessons in distance learning during the pandemic. I examined the attitudes and behavior of 30 ninth-grade students in a secondary school in Budapest in the course of my research.




            Illik, Péter

            Revolutions in the socialist secondary school course-books: from the French Revolution to the White Terror

              The present study examines the narrative of the Hungarian Red and White Terror in the Hungarian secondary school course-books. In the Hungarian socialist narrative, the idea of revolution is closely linked to terror, and a revolutionary tradition also exists. Therefore, this paper will also briefly discuss the French Revolution and the Paris Commune in this narrative. The analysis also leads to a theoretical problem, the question of causality. It is a mental activity that constitutes a theoretical model of cause and consequence within a narrative. The main question is whether Hungarian secondary school course-books have established a logical or chronological causality between the Red and the White Terror. This study will also present the narrative of two textbooks published at the end of the Horthy-era. Obviously, they do not write about the White Terror as such, but they describe the Red Terror. After 1945, the socialist course-books vividly discussed the White Terror, but they did not write about the Red Terror. Course-books published from 1940 to the 1990s did not define the term “terror” including the Red and the White Terror. Furthermore, most of them did not establish a causal relation between the two terrors, i.e. they did not answer the question whether the Red Terror caused the later called White Terror.