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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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It makes it the duty of cities to provide two playgrounds, one near the school so that pupils can play while school is out of session and another on the confines of the town among shady trees and with fresh water close by. Each class is to have a separate place on the school playground. Games must be planned; each school must decide the type, progress, and time of games. Play must be based on merit, unworthy pupils being barred from common games.

For the public schools the Ratio adopts in its entirety the Felbiger normal method, which was common in Austria and the use of which had been ordered in Hungary at some previous time. According to this method every member of a class reads in unison. This primitive and somewhat heavy method, however, in reality could not find its way permanently into Hungarian public schools.


This first great official code of Hungarian education did not have time to become effective and to be confirmed in actual life.

Scarcely three years after its appearance Joseph II succeeded to the throne and, although he approved the Ratio on paper, he nevertheless hindered its actual realization by many acts. This stubborn representative of a policy of enlightened absolutism put above all else the rational unity of his state, that is, of his many-tongued kingdom, and demanded the education of his people to be upon the basis of common principles. Opposed to the prerogatives of the nobility, he reduced the number of the Gymnasiums and higher schools which served the educational needs of the nobility, and desired to obstruct the development of an intellectual proletariat by charging students considerable tuition fees. According to his physiocratic conception of social economics, he had at heart, above all else, the schooling of the rural peasant class. He desired to give every citizen of the state at least a minimum of education. For this reason he ordered general compulsory education with sanctions of penalty and set up public schools in great numbers (about 500 even during the war years of 1788-1789). He discontinued the institutions of reHISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT fectories and dormitories and replaced them with scholarships.

He dissolved all monastic orders, making a complete change in the teaching staff; and thus a great scarcity of teachers arose.

He reorganized the Committee on Education at the court of Vienna in order that it might enforce educational reforms on a uniform basis (1782). Although he issued his Edictum Tolerantiae with reference to Protestants, he had no regard for their autonomy in education, but placed Protestant schools also under general state regulation. Protestants, however, as they had against the Ratio during the time of Maria Theresa, again raised a protest against this imperial edict, basing their stand upon their rights ensured by the peace treaties of Vienna and Linz;

in the same way protest arose against the edict, Normal Regia, of 1782, which regulated education in Transylvania. But order in Hungarian education, which was well on the way to establishment, was most of all disturbed by the measure of Joseph which made German the universal official and school language throughout the monarchy (1784). Accordingly, no public school teacher could hold his position unless he spoke German, and only such students as could read and write German were admissible to the Gymnasiums. Within a year all subjects in every type of school were to be taught in German only.

Against Joseph's linguistic edict the nation rose in fervent protest; it awakened to the significance of the Hungarian tongue in school and public life. And there began a struggle against Latin and German, which lasted more than half a century, until finally Article II of the Act of 1844 changed the language of secondary schools from Latin to Magyar. The national tongue from this time on became the keystone of the Hungarian educational ideal.


1790-1791 The daring endeavour of Joseph to unify his kingdom proved a failure. Along with it went his edict for Germanizing the schools. An awakening of nationalism radically made itself felt in the Parliament of 1790-1791. In the field of public education the slogan became educatio nationalis. Maria Theresa and Joseph, as absolute monarchs, had regulated Hungarian education from above by edicts. Now Parliament declared that the 14 EDUCATION IN HUNGARY nation should independently reorganize its educational policy according to a Hungarian nationalist spirit. Parliament therefore appointed a committee to determine the principles of a "nationalist education." King Leopold, however, even before he annulled Joseph's edicts on education, declared that through the schools "he desired to spread the Hungarian language throughout the entire Hungarian kingdom." The Ratio Educationis had not recognized the priority of the Magyar language over the languages of other nationalities in the kingdom; it had not even so much as made mention of it; the Emperor Joseph, moreover, had made direct efforts to establish forcibly the hegemony of the German language. And now this measure of King Leopold was the first State action which officially recognized the priority of the Hungarian language and considered its enhancement and propagation a duty of the schools. Had this royal program been actually put into practice, it would have been the first official germ of a cultural policy which had for its object the development of the Hungarian national state.

It is to the glory of the Hungarian nation that the Hungarian Parliament was the first legislative body in Europe to subject education to a systematic consideration. Its committee, after working for two years, prepared a lengthy proposal with reference to the underlying principles of a nationalistic education.

Its central idea is the uniform organization of public education, giving the same intellectual and physical education and the same instruction to all, irrespective of nationality or denomination.

This is the principle of uniformity which had originated the Ratio in 1777 during the era of enlightened absolutism. Only now the conception of uniformity takes on a nationalistic colour;

in fact, it directly becomes the underlying principle of nationalistic education.

This proposal is permeated with the enlightened spirit and pedagogical enthusiasm of the eighteenth century. Part I proclaims the power of the State to reduce all schools to uniformity.

Part II makes a stand for a democratic cultural policy, according to which there should be appropriate schools for the cultural demands of every class of citizen and of every stratum of society.

There should be public schools in all places where a denomination holds services. The proposal endeavours to make public education free. Primary schools are to be maintained by villages and,


if they are not able to do this, it is the duty of landowners to provide aid. Loyalty to the constitution must be inculcated in the rural and industrial classes at an early age. Thus, "public school readers must discuss according to the comprehension of the child all such matters as fully show the manifold blessings accruing to them as a result of the constitution." Here was the germ of civic instruction in. the field of public education.

Although the proposal proclaims a liberal attitude, keeping schools open for everybody, nevertheless, fearful of an intellectual proletariat, it recommends caution that "any excessive tendency on the part of people to attend higher schools should not sidetrack from agriculture, industry, and commerce such as might be of greatest usefulness to the state in these fields. " The principle of religious tolerance, too, triumphs in this proposal. The subject matter and textbooks—it says—should be so chosen that these can be studied freely by students of any religious sect, seeing that educational institutions are to be open to people without regard to denomination. It also declares that after a certain time no one shall be eligible to any trade and to village or city offices, who has not at least a primary education.

Teachers are to be regarded as officials of the State and those that excel in the field of public education are to be rewarded.

A satisfactory pension is to be provided for those who become aged in the service. The closing paragraph of the proposal asks the King to have all acts and instructions with reference to public education appear in print. The problem of public education is to be regarded as an affair of all citizens, and they are to take notice of relevant acts in order that they may offer any suggestions or changes which may occur to them. The matter of public education, therefore, must be placed under the permanent control of national public opinion.

This proposal very truly reflects the cultural desires of the nation's spirit in this age. Very soon, however, the country fell into a very sad historical situation—into the storm of the great French wars, when military affairs forced cultural matters into the background. Even so, this proposal remains one of the most valuable monuments in the history of Hungarian education, a testimony to the fact that Hungary was a very deep bed of the intellectual currents and cultural endeavours then dominant in Western Europe. Every fundamental principle of educational 16 EDUCATION IN HUNGARY policy in line with the current enlightenment comes to the fore in it; looking at the paragraphs of this proposal, we discover the very thoughts which Diderot a century and a half before had propounded in his plan for public education, prepared for Catherine, Czarina of Russia, or we seem to be reading the educational proposals made by Talleyrand and Condorcet at about the same time, to the French National Assembly. This is, indeed, very natural, since the proposal came from a committee of a Diet the members of which at the opening had sworn an oath modelled on the French citizen's oath. This proposal, like its prototypes, emphasized uniformity of State education, since public instruction is a common matter for the entire nation. It likewise stressed the universality of education and culture, proclaiming that the possibility of cultivating one's mind was an inherent right of man and that none can be divested of it, ignorance, absence of culture, and intellectual darkness all being fatal crimes against the individual and against the nation. For this very reason even the lowest stratum of society, the peasants, were not to be kept from the blessings of culture and were to be elevated intellectually by making specific provisions for their needs. It is uplifting to see that Hungarians even in the nineteenth century, still the age of class privileges, did not regard culture as the special right of the upper social classes, but proclaimed the principle that all schools should be open to people regardless of their rank. Coming out of the democratic spirit so dominant in Europe at that time, the proposals demanded that private education be supplanted by general public education or at least be completed by an examination given in a state school.

THE RATIO EDUCATIONIS OF 1806 On account of his fear of French revolutionary ideas and the Napoleonic wars, Francis I did not permit the Hungarian Parliament to discuss the proposals. Instead he issued a second Ratio (in 1806) to function as the code of Hungarian public education;

this remained in effect till 1849 {Ratio Educationis Publicae Totiusque Rei Literariae per Regnum Hungáriáé et Provincias Eidem Adnexas. Budae. 1805. 315 p.). The enlightenment and nationalistic colour of the proposals made by the parliamentary committee in 1791 were not to be found in the new code. InstituHISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT tions designed to serve nationalistic cultural aims (Hungarian Scientific Society, Academy of Arts, Military Academy, etc.), which had been urged for years, remained only on paper. The unity of "nationalistic education" was not accomplished even by the new Ratio; Protestants did not acknowledge the validity of the new general code, but protested against it and further maintained their right of self-government in educational matters.

This second Ratio scarcely made any progress over the first in the field of public education. It changed the organization of the secondary schools in that the grades of grammar schools were raised from three to four, to which were added the two classes in the humanities. It reduced the number of the subjects to be taught as outlined in the first Ratio and forced realistic-technical tendencies into the background. In this way it even more effectively favoured the ideal of a Latin rhetorical culture. It shifted the Greek language to the course in philosophy as a special subject. As against that of 1777, the Ratio of 1806 was by far more precise and compact, separating the parts on the curriculum and on methods from each other. Its spirit was more unified and less encyclopedic; moreover, in its stress upon pure utilitarianism there may be detected here and there a sense of the significance and content of the cultural ideal. On the other hand, it gives the real subjects such an insignificant place that the material becomes one-sided. Over against the first Ratio, pioneer as it was in its way, the historical significance of the second is increased by the fact that, while a very great part of the first remained only on paper as pure demands, the second in its totality struck living root and for almost half a century directed the life of Hungarian educational institutions. In essence it is entirely the product of a conservative world view and educational policy.



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