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Susanne Popp’s welcoming speech at the book launch of the Hungarian Historical Society Teachers’ Division

    Susanne Popp, Professor of History Didactics at the University of Augsburg and long-standing former President of the International Society for History Didactics, welcomed the participants of the book launch event organized by the Hungarian Historical Society Teachers’ Division on a video recording on 16 November 2023. The book launch was held at the Research Institute and Archives for the History of Regime Change, where the thematic issue of the Hungarian Educational Research Journal “Trends and Patterns in History Didactics” edited by Prof. Ágnes F. Dárdai, József Kaposi and Susanne Popp was presented by Professor Emerita Ágnes F. Dárdai. Susanne Popp gave a welcome speech on this occasion, the full text of which is published here.




    András Katona

    The past and notable personalities of Hungarian history didactics III.

    From positivism to spiritual history to reform pedagogy (1920-1945)

      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.

      The Horthy Era is the period during which history didactics were shaped, in which the first real synthesis was born, thanks to István Dékány. This period, earlier depicted in unnuanced terms, is characterised by the emergence and contention of various tendencies. The spiritual history (Geistesgeschichte) trend critical of positivism (really factualism) gradually becomes dominant in history didactics, but the methodological upheaval of the 1930s also favours various movements of pedagogical reform. Among these, the New School and the School of Action have left a more significant mark on our history didactics. The increase in political influence is indicated by the fact that we must address the educational policy background of history teaching, too, as it has a significant impact on not only the daily practice of instruction, but on history didactics, too.


      András Gyertyánfy

      Planning the history lesson – The lesson plan

        This paper presents two types of documents for planning a history lesson. Regarding the lesson plan used for administrative purposes, it explains that filling in the „purpose of teaching” box is not just an empty formality. Every history lesson should have a purpose that is relevant to the subject matter but also goes beyond it. The emphasis and depth of the subject matter, the media, the classroom techniques and the methods should be chosen accordingly. Another common element of the administrative lesson plan is the allocation of time. This is necessary, but it is not advisable to adhere strictly to the plan. The subject of history is characterised by dialogic teaching, therefore the dynamics of the lesson do not only depend on the teacher’s notions but also on the students’ reactions. The second type is the lesson plan for one’s own use. This should include the detailed description and structure of the subject matter, the blackboard plan, and questions and instructions from the teacher. This type of lesson plan is not only an element of planning but also a tool for lesson management. This paper presents the issue mainly from the perspective of teacher trainees and beginner teachers.


        Latest issues


        References from the recent past of our history teaching VI.

        József Kaposi – András Katon: Lexicons of the history matriculation examination requirements valid from 2024

          In our previous issue, we published the first 30-year-old document regulating the content of the history matriculation examination immediately after the change of regime. In our current issue, we publish the lexical requirements for the history matriculation exam in force from 2024, with a compilation of the 2020 National Core Curriculum, the 2020 framework curriculum and the 2021 matriculation exam decree in a clear table form. As well as supporting preparation for the matriculation exam in May 2024, the publication of this resource is justified because, for the first time since its introduction in 2005, lexical elements have been included in the regulation valid from 2024 for advanced level requirements that exceed those in the framework curricula. And to no small degree, as the volume of data required at this exam level compared to the middle level is close to 40% (more specifically 37.2%) more. Our present paper does not consider the professional opinions and assessments of the changes coming into force as these were already addressed by the Teachers Chapter of the Hungarian Historical Society in 2021. Our publication of references thus concentrates on issues related to the lexicon.




          Concept networks for teaching primary school history – based on the 2020 framework curriculum

            The primary school history-civics curriculum introduced in 1978 was the first to contain history concepts that were also organised in topical form. This initiative of Péter Szebenyi was continued by Tamás Foki, when – now deprived of Marxist ideological trappings (e.g. objective regularities, worldview-moral-political requirements, class struggle) – he also prepared the concept correlation system for the National Core Curriculum in 1995. Since then, the curriculum and concept system has changed significantly: new curricula were introduced in 2000, interpretative and content key concepts appeared within these in 2012, and they were affirmed in the 2020 curricula. In addition to these, we deal in our present paper with useful “everyday” content concepts in lessons and in textbooks, placing them in a topical system with the aim of supporting planning work and classroom practice of history teaching in the primary school.


            Péter Illik

            Hero Narratives and the Formation of Heroes: Warriors of the Hungarian Frontier Castles in Hungarian Secondary Schools

              This study traces the narrative of valour and heroism and its techniques of hero formation in textbooks from the early 19th century to 1989, with an outlook to 2020. These topics are also analysed in school bulletins. It is not the aim of this study to show how the Hungarian public education system and its regulatory documents changed, what teachers taught in secondary schools, what students knew and know, as the primary sources of this study, i.e. secondary school textbooks, are not suitable for this purpose. They can only provide a sketch of 200 years of narrative trends and changes, allowing us to know what knowledge the high school graduates of that period might (but not necessarily did) have about the soldiers of the defence line and their heroism.

              The conclusion of this study is that (1) textbook texts are abbreviated, adopt templates, and the curricular content is reduced. (2) There are central events that remain unchanged for 200 years, such as the heroism of Miklós Jurisics. (3) There are solutions penned by individual authors that are independent of the narrative trends. (4) In the Horthy era, the unified narrative is broken, there are narrative systems that are completely different from the trends. (5) In textbooks, the socialist era begins in 1945 and brings a fundamental schism. These have been demonstrated by the author in several other thematic studies of textbooks. However, the nature and extent of the rupture and change that appeared in the socialist era is unique concerning the heroism of the soldiers of the defence line.

              Keywords: textbook, secondary school. soldiers of the defence line, heroism, socialism