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«The International Institute of Teacher’s College, Columbia University The INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE of Teachers College, Columbia University, was ...»

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This was in direct opposition' to the intentions of the law of 1890, which aimed to have the secondary school give a uniform general culture. The authors of the new law, on the contrary, held that a general culture, as far as its content was concerned, could assume varying hues. Such subjects as Hungarian literature and history must be uniform and the same in all schools, but modern languages, mathematics, natural sciences, and the like might be given an importance varying in the various types of secondary schools. The valuable content of culture has increased tremendously with the intellectual progress of mankind and thus it has become impossible for one type of school to undertake to pass on all of these values with equal emphasis.

On the other hand we must take into consideration the receptive powrers and individual bent of students. General culture from the point of view of content cannot today be truly general, for all the many spheres and tendencies of modern knowledge cannot be received by one mind. A general culture is only a synthetic SECONDARY EDUCATION 77 ideal, which cannot be realized in' the school; it leads to an overloading of the curriculum, to superficiality, and to a complete diffusion of the mind, and hinders the development of the power to penetrate deeply and independently into particular fields.

The differentiation of secondary schools was supported also by educational psychology, which indicates that an individual should attend schools where the cultural values are in harmony with his endowments and leanings. The authors of the new law were also influenced by the fact that all progress means differentiation and that a system approximates perfection in proportion to the number of organs which exist to take care of the individual functions. Thus the school system must be differentiated in order that the various needs of social life and the different capacities of individuals may find their proper type of school. The uniformity of the national subjects in the various types gives sufficient assurance of a uniformity in the essentials of national culture. Uniformity and identity in the general cultural subjects, however, would ultimately lead to cultural poverty and loss of color.

The new law sets up also the aim of a general cultural education in secondary schools, yet not from the point of view of content, but rather from that of form. The task of each type is first of all to train its students for independent intellectual work, that is, to bring about an aptitude and maturity of mind that will enable a student readily to become familiar with any field of specialization. The curricula of the Gymnasium, Realgymnasium, and the Real school, which we shall discuss later, would seem to serve this end.

In determining the various types of secondary schools the reform had in mind the following points of view:

1. There is need above all for a secondary school which will perpetuate the intensive and vital consciousness of the historical past. A State will never be cultured if it breaks with the historical past. The school of this historical culture is the humanist Gymnasium, in which the Greek and Latin languages and literatures occupy the central position.

2. There is need, furthermore, for a type of secondary school which does not go back to the original source of modern culture but reaches back with a more restricted historical perspective only to Latin culture, becoming, as it were, a reduced GymEDUCATION IN HUNGARY nasium. This type is the Realgymnasium, which teaches Latin and in place of Greek substitutes a modern language and literature, such as French, English, or Italian. We need not point out the exceptionally important rôle which Latin fills both directly and indirectly in our modern life. It had become the general language of scholars early in the Christian era and was not supplanted even by Greek, popular as that was during the Renaissance. And inasmuch as Latin was the language of State, public life, administration, and literature in Hungary up to the middle of the nineteenth century, having survived there for the longest time, its knowledge is a primary condition of research not only in European but in Hungarian history, too. Latin, we might say, is a national subject in' Hungary. It was the language of sciences during centuries of the past and scientific terminology to this day is based upon Greek and Latin. Indeed, it is only with the aid of the Latin language that we can comprehend and appreciate European and Hungarian culture. The new law, therefore, stood in opposition to the effort to eradicate Latin from the curriculum of secondary schools and staunchly insisted that a central place must be given to Latin in the most popular type of secondary school, the Realgymnasium.

3. Finally, there is need for a type of secondary school in which a wholly modern culture predominates, namely, such subjects as modern languages, mathematics, and the natural sciences.

This is represented by the Real school. The Real school refutes the charge that the study of Latin and Greek is forced upon students of secondary schools and by placing the historical past too much into the foreground prevents them from obtaining modern culture.

These three types of secondary schools essentially existed in the Hungarian school system before the reform, but were forced into two types. The hew law clarified the system by making the third type, the Realgymnasium, an independent school.





This school made unnecessary the Act of 1890, which provided for the free choice of two subjects in the place of Greek. The first of these two subjects was Hungarian literature and outlines of Greek literature and art, and the other subject was freehand drawing. These two subjects, however, were never of equivalent value with the Greek. The new reform felt that, owing to the isolation' of the Hungarian language, knowledge of at least two SECONDARY EDUCATION 79 modern languages was an indispensable condition of modern culture for Hungarians and hence could accept only a modern language as a substitute for Greek.

The substance of the new reform was the creation of the new Realgymnasium type with two modern languages and Latin as obligatory subjects. The result was that a large majority of the secondary schools became Realgymnasiums, being represented by 71 institutions, while there are only 26 Gymnasiums and 21 Real schools.

Another fundamental idea of the Reform of 1924 was that of a uniform qualification, that is, that pupils finishing any of the three types of secondary schools may be admitted to any faculty of the university or any other higher institution. Thus after the maturity examinations nobody is hindered in his free choice of a career merely because at the age of ten he enrolled in one rather than in another secondary school. Serious objections may be raised against this regulation. A pupil finishing a Real school, for example, without knowledge of Latin or Greek would encounter great difficulties in the study of Roman law, legal history, medicine, or the specialized fields of history, philology, and philosophy. Such a student, however, can make up any deficiency. Even thus far the Real school has attempted to supply this lack by offering Latin as a special subject; similarly the deficiencies of the Gymnasium and the Realgymnasium in the field of descriptive geometry are made up by the inclusion of special subjects in the curriculum. The universities also aid in this matter by giving special courses in these fields. As a rule, however, such cases are rare, for nearly everyone chooses a career for which his previous study has aroused his desire; a Real school graduate very rarely applies for admission as a theological student or a classical philologist. In this respect the reform assumes a liberal position, trusting in the ability of individuals to make the proper choice.

The Act of 1924 thus modified the Act of 1883 with reference to the types of secondary schools, their curriculum, and qualification for the universities; it left untouched the previous regulations with respect to State supervision and administration and with respect to the rights of the State and school supporters, because these regulations had stood the test of decades and proved tenable under modern circumstances.

EDUCATION IN HUNGARY

LAW OF 1924 The Function of the Secondary School. According to this Act the function of the secondary school is to train pupils to be good citizens, to give them a liberal education, and to fit them to study independently in any higher educational institute (university).

This task is fulfilled by offering, besides the national studies, courses with a humanist trend, such as Latin' and Greek grammar and literature in the Gymnasium (classical school), Latin and modern languages with their respective literatures in the Realgymnasium (mixed school), and modern languages and literatures, mathematics, and natural sciences in the Real school.

Subjects Taught in Secondary Schools. In all three types religion, Hungarian language and literature (with its history), German language and literature, history of Hungary, general history, geography, natural history, physics, mathematics, philosophy, drawing, and physical training are the regular subjects. Schools using other than the Hungarian language as the medium of instruction' must teach the grammar and literature of that language.

Besides the above the following are ordinary subjects: in the Gymnasium, Latin and Greek and their respective literatures; in the Realgymnasium, Latin and either English, French, or Italian with its respective literature; finally, in the Real school, either English, French, or Italian with its respective literature, chemistry, geometrical drawing, and descriptive geometry.

Each type is an independent institution and has eight grades.

Territorial Distribution of the Types. The permission of the Minister of Public Worship and Instruction is necessary for setting up any type or types of secondary school. A Gymnasium, if possible, can remain or be set up in a city or community where there is also another type, in order to facilitate the choice of a school on the part of parents and students. The Ministry may, hoAvever, in special cases, make an exception' to this rule, for instance, in cities with Theological Seminaries.

Admission of Students from Other Countries. Students desiring to transfer from the secondary school of any other country to one of Hungary must obtain permission from the Ministry.

As a rule, such a student will be admitted to a class that corresponds to his age (having regard to the status of Hungarian schools), provided he successfully passes an examination in subSECONDARY EDUCATION jects that constitute a difference in the respective curricula; when such differences do not exist, no examination is required.

Number of Periods and Teachers. The number of periods in the first twTo classes, not counting physical training, is 26 and in the rest, 28; these figures refer only to ordinary, obligatory subjects.

The number of teachers, apart from teachers of religion and teachers of physical training and special subjects, must be at least 13 in each school.

Principals are required to teach not less than three but not more than eight periods per week and teachers a maximum of 18 hours per week. Principals may not teach more than 10 and teachers not more than 24 periods per week. Extra pay is given to principals teaching above 8, and to teachers above 18, periods per week. Principals and teachers may not engage in out-ofschool work except with the permission of the Ministry.

The Maturity Examination. A student is entitled to take the maturity examination upon successful completion of the eight grades of the secondary school. Passing of the maturity examination is a condition for admission to a higher institution of learning (universities).

The Size oj Classes. No class may have more than 60 students. Within ten years from the time of the enactment of this law this number must be gradually reduced to 40.

THE CURRICULA OF SECONDARY SCHOOLS

The time-schedules of the three types are as follows:

82 EDUCATION IN HUNGARY In each schedule an effort is made to emphasize the specialties of each type through either the amount of time devoted to instruction or the amount of material embraced. Thus the humanities receive a total of 160 periods per week in the Gymnasium, 154 in the Realgymnasium, and 126 in the Real school, while the modern subjects receive 76 periods per week in the Gymnasium, 82 in the Realgymnasium, and 110 in the Real school. Languages are taught in 115 periods per week in the Gymnasium, 107 in the Realgymnasium, and 79 in the Real school.

SECONDARY EDUCATION 83 84 EDUCATION IN HUNGARY

–  –  –

Religion and Ethics Classes I—VIII, two periods. Instruction in religion and ethics is conducted in accordance with the program of the respective denominations.

Hungarian Language and Literature Aim: Knowledge of the rules of grammar and style; ability in free expression in speech and writing; a literary culture based on reading and analysis of content and form, and on the study of the theory and history of literature.

Course of study: Grade I, 5 periods, (a) Readings from poetry and prose, especially from the sphere of folklore, traditions, legends and classical mythology; sketches dealing with the land and life of Hungarians from the works of Arany, Petőfi, Vörösmarty, Tompa, Gyulai, Jókai, Mikszáth, Gárdonyi, and Herczeg. Simple poems and sketches dealing with the nation's (Vargha, Szabolcska, Gyóni, Sajó, Végvári.) recent crisis.

Memorizing of poems. (6) The study of the sentence and sounds, (c) A written exercise every two weeks.

Grade II, 4 periods, (a) Readings from poetry and prose as above, but supplemented by others from the same authors. (6) Compound sentences; word formation; synonyms, (c) Exercises as in the first grade.

Grade III, 3 periods, (a) Readings from prose and poetry.

Stories from Hungarian history and traditions and also from classical mythology. Szalay, Tompa, and Gárdonyi. Episodes from the Greek and Persian wars (Herodotus). Patriotic and religious lyrical poems of Petőfi, Arany, Kölcsey, Vörösmarty, Gyulai, Lévay, Endrödy, Emil Ábrányi. Fables by Péczeli, Fáy, Greguss, and Bartóky. Poems and sketches dealing with the nation's recent crisis, as in the first grade. (6) Grammar, (c) Written exercises.



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