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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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While Protestants did not accept the State Ratio, they were nevertheless influenced by it. Lutherans in 1805 made a definite attempt to effect a uniform reorganization of their education by publishing the so-called Systema Scholarum. Its author, Schedius, a university professor, used the Prussian classical Gymnasium as a type. He desired to organize middle schools to take a place beside the public schools in the larger cities. This educaIN HUNGARY EDUCATION tional codex never went into effect, chiefly because of the absence of financial backing. The Reformed Church about this time (1807) also reorganized its educational system by adopting the Ratio Institutionis. The educational ideal of this is predominantly of a Latin rhetorical character. Otherwise the frequently modified curricula of the two Reformed schools at Debrecen and Sárospatak show, from the end of the eighteenth century, the alternating dominance of the humanist and realistic tendencies.

The Philanthropinist and the neo-humanist spirit, which Protestant professors imbibed in German universities, struggled with one another in the Protestant school reforms. Pedagogical literature of the early nineteenth century urged the adoption of many modern pedagogical ideas, among them the teaching of modern language and literature, the self-government of students, the psychological examination of youth, physical education and excursions, the ideas of the "open air" school, of laboratory experiments, and of civic education, the founding of vocational schools, and the organization of teacher training.

EDUCATIONAL MOVEMENTS DURING THE ERA OF NATIONAL REFORMS

Hungarian Parliaments during the Napoleonic wars up to the Diet of 1812 constantly demanded the reorganization of public instruction even after the appearance of the Ratio of 1806. After the fall of Napoleon absolutism also triumphs in Hungary under the shadow of the Holy Alliance. But this is not the enlightened absolutism of the Emperor Joseph, which heartily favours the education of the people; it is patriarchal absolutism, which aims to shut the country off completely from currents of Western thought.

With the appearance of Széchenyi, the Parliament of 1825-1827 was a turning point, for it vigorously initiated the so-called Hungarian renaissance. The leading thought of this movement was to make good as fast as possible all that had been lost by the nation in the field of cultural progress. The best of Hungarian society took part in formulating the new nationalistic cultural ideal. The problem of education, like the problem of the nation's future, had perhaps never before interested the leading men so deeply and so generally as in the Reform Era. Politics and pedagogy became closely allied, on the principle that good education is the best national policy. This thought was most emphatiHISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT cally proclaimed by Széchenyi, inasmuch as he saw the guarantee of the survival of the nation in an intellectual renaissance, the condition of which was a well directed educational system.

Inspired by this idea, Hungarian politicians and writers did not regard public instruction as the problem of the specialist only, but as the most actual and significant problem of the nation as a whole. Beginning with 1820, the subject of common interest was primarily elementary education and higher education only secondarily. This is well understood from the romantic spirit of the Hungarian nation, because it was also only a wave of Romanticism so current in Europe at the time. And one of the chief characteristics of Romanticism is democracy, which claims that it is not the upper class that is really valuable but the lower—the innocent and unspoiled natural people—a class which, in the theory of Rousseau, culture had not yet marred. For this reason the subject of romantic literature, as in the novels of Eötvös, who later became Minister of Education, is the son of the suppressed people, who is the source of hitherto unsurmised power. But above the people looms the child, the lovable, innocent child, who comes into an unloving, artificial, cruel social order which blunts him and blocks the free unfolding of his capacities. The emphasis of Hungarian educational policies during the Reform Era—under the influence of Pestalozzi and in line with contemporary currents of thought—fell upon elementary education, which in fact was very much neglected. The Parliament of 1825 made the deplorable state of public education one of its chief complaints to the king. It urged the increase of the number of public elementary schools, the employment of travelling teachers and preachers for farms too distant from villages, general compulsory education, the compulsory enrolment of village children in schools, and the establishment of village libraries for the education of adults. The Parliament of 1825-1827, which ushered in the Renaissance of Hungary, did not neglect the question of secondary and higher education, either; it demanded that Hungarian, instead of Latin, should be made the language of instruction. It further demanded the establishment of middle schools and Real schools after the Western European fashion and the founding of a polytechnical school; the organization of secondary education for girls; and provision for the training of teachers in the University of Pest. Parliament proEDUCATION IN HUNGARY tested against the unconstitutional interference in Hungarian educational affairs of the Committee on Education in Vienna and also against the dependence of the University of Pest upon that at Vienna. It further demanded that Hungarian students be permitted to study in foreign universities and that prohibitions against this be abolished. Parliament questioned the right of the king to act in matters of public instruction without consulting it. For the reorganization of public instruction, Parliament in 1826 appointed a committee, whose work appeared under the title Opinio (1830). This was sent to all interested bodies in counties and cities, that they might make their criticisms of the new plan and give proper instruction to their representatives in the event that the plan came up for discussion in Parliament. It is inspiring to see that the legislative bodies of a nation that had just awakened from a deep sleep should in the early thirties of the nineteenth century enthusiastically discuss the problems of Hungarian education and that everybody should be scheming to find the methods whereby Hungarian culture might be speedily elevated. Scarcely ever have Hungarians interested themselves to such an extent in the problems of public instruction, and it has not happened since that legislative bodies throughout the nation should so fervently debate as to what the content and organization of the elementary school should be.





How could advanced courses in industrial and agricultural subjects be added to meet the needs of public schools? Is Greek necessary in the Gymnasium? What should be taught in geometry and history? What shall the education of Hungarian girls be like? Would it not be good to create playgrounds and swimming baths adjoining schools?

The work of the committee on public education, however, proceeding along very moderate lines and following the Ratio, was futile. The king declared that the matter of public instruction was a royal prerogative and laws relative to it were unnecessary.

Parliament protested from year to year against this conception and retained the matter of education on its calendar. Finally the government, in 1841, entrusted Baron Alois Mednyánszky with the drafting of new plans for public instruction. This plan of reform, which endeavoured to strike a happy medium between humanistic and realistic content and, over against Latin, gave Hungarian a significant place, was shelved by the Austrian

HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT

–  –  –

The Ratio of 1777 had endeavoured to adapt its system to the characteristic economic demands of the country. Most of its measures relative to this, however, remained only on paper.

Technical training for a long time was given by only one institution, the Academy of Mining founded at Selmec in 1763, which very soon obtained a high reputation throughout Europe and became a model for other, countries. Even the French in the building of their Ecole Polytechnique had in mind the Academy at Selmec (1794). The significance of agricultural and industrial schools was first appreciated by Samuel Tessedik, who in 1780 established such a school at Szarvas; in 1791 he developed it into the Praktisch-Oekonomisches Industnal-Institut. This Hungarian Basedow, however, after several years was forced to close his school because of lack of funds. From the end of the eighteenth century, however, the nation increasingly felt that purely Latin schools must not monopolize the possibilities of education and that practical schools were a crying need of the country, if it was to develop soundly. At the end of the eighteenth century there were only two modest institutions serving this need-—the drawing schools started by Maria Theresa and the Engineers' Institute opened in 1782 by Joseph II at the university. It was also in the eighteenth century that the first middle schools (Polgan iskola) 1 came into being in Hungary fashioned after the German Philanthropinist spirit.

In the thirties of the nineteenth century, during the era of national reforms, the leaders of the nation, with Count Stephen Széchenyi at their head, became clearly conscious of the great shortcoming of Hungarian public education, namely, the lack of Real technical schools. The transformation of economic life, the The German equivalent for this is Bürgerschule.

In general this school, as will be seen from the text, is equivalent to a higher elementary school.

22 EDUCATION IN HUNGARY extraordinary development of natural sciences and technical knowledge, the waning of the classical spirit, and the increasing rise of the democratic and liberal spirit made the value of a practical education absolutely paramount. The significance of modern languages and literature as compared with Latin gradually increased. "The school should prepare for life!" This became the cry of leading political circles. Széchenyi demanded the establishment of Real schools and a technological academy, that the strong current toward the legal career might be turned toward more practical professions; Kossuth also expected to see an educated middle class rise from the Real and industrial schools. The demands of Parliament in this direction were rejected by the court at Vienna. The first professional schools were private institutions. Such were the agricultural school, Georgikon, founded in 1797 by Count George Festetich at Keszthely, and the very excellent agricultural academy organized by Prince Casimir Albert of Teschen in 1818. Inasmuch as at this time there were no highly developed industries, more systematic industrial training was given by the apprentice schools and by industrial courses started as a result of Kossuth's urging.

The first Hungarian commercial school (founded by Emmanuel Bibanco in 1830) was also a private institution. The first official plan for professional schools was prepared by Baron Alois Mednyánszky at the request of the government (1842). The plan and curriculum of his vocational school was grouped into three branches—commercial, agricultural, and industrial. Out of this plan, often redrafted, came the Joseph Industrial School, which later developed into the Royal Hungarian Joseph Technical University.

DEMOCRATIC POLICIES IN EDUCATION

In the spring of 1848 was appointed the first Cabinet responsible to king and Parliament. The first Minister of Public Worship and Instruction, Baron Joseph Eötvös, desired primarily to take care of public education. He introduced a law making school attendance compulsory for all and public instruction free and primarily the responsibility of communities; besides communities, the various denominations were also permitted to maintain public schools. This measure was adopted by the lower house of Parliament, but in view of the disturbances that arose

HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT

because of the war of independence, the upper house tabled it.

Previously, however, Article XX of the law of 1848 had declared that the expenses of all churches and schools maintained by denominations should be defrayed by the State. The reform of secondary schools and of the university remained only a project as a result of the outbreak of the war. The law recognized the freedom of teaching and learning in the university and placed the university under the immediate control of the Ministry of Education. The wrar was well on its way when in July, 1848, Hungarian teachers from the entire country held a general congress to fix the underlying principles of a law regarding a unified public instruction. Its measures were inspired by an extreme democratic and liberal spirit. It desired to bring all education under State control and to place the administration of education on an entirely autonomous basis, and declared, further, that religious instruction was a private matter.

THE PERIOD OF AUSTRIAN ABSOLUTISM (1849-1860) After the tragic failure of the war of independence as a result of Russian aid, the unscrupulous absolutism of Vienna swept down upon the nation (1849-1860), Hungarian education came under the dictatorship of Count Leo Thun, who controlled by absolute edicts and by every means of forceful Germanization, disregarding every tradition of Hungarian culture. This absolutism, on the whole, cared very little for the education of the people; Count Thun was interested chiefly in secondary and higher schools. One of his edicts (1855) left the establishment and maintenance of public elementary schools entirely to the villages. He extended compulsory attendance to the twelfth year; inasmuch as he provided only four grades for elementary schools, children were able to finish grade school at the age of ten. The number of pupils for one teacher was set at one hundred. Count Thun ordered the teaching of German in elementary schools, too; his enthusiastic school directors proudly declared that even the Lowland herdsmen would study their alphabet in German. He enforced the use of new textbooks, which were designed to train pupils in love toward the "whole empire" and in absolute respect for the Emperor. Despite many ancient laws, he deprived Protestant denominations of their right of self-government as early as 1850.



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