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Mihály Kékes Szabó: István Schneller's Concept of Education in the Family

István Schneller (1847–1939), professor of education at the Kolozsvár and then Szeged University, was a prominent Hungarian figure of personality education. Based on classical German philosophy, his pedagogical system was influenced by the romantic idealist ideas of Schleiermacher. He rejected the intellectualism of Herbart and his followers, but he could not accept the objectives of the child-study movement. In his understanding, each person should be regarded as an individual being who is transformed into a personality through his or her connections and attachments to the surrounding communities. In the process of identity formation, he attributed a decisive importance to the personality of the adult caretaker, the child's faculties and the "historical powers" surrounding the child (i.e. the family, the community, the ethnic group, the nation, the state, the church, and mankind). Of the fields and factors contributing to personality development, Schneller considered family influences to be of primary importance. For him, family represents the fundamental meaning of life, the field where the acquisition of the values accumulated by preceding generations takes place, and one of the means through which the divine ideal of purpose embodied in each human being is realised. He believed that education within the family will contribute to the activation of the noble powers in the child's soul if the parents' views on life (their devotion to their profession and work, the division of labour within the family, their values and their views concerning child-rearing) and their actual way of life are congruent. He held that in a family with a stable emotional base, the father's responsibility is to secure the financial foundation and to evoke respect, while the mother's role is to create a loving atmosphere and shaping patriotic and humane, sensitive emotions.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 98. Number 4. 377-384. (1998)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Kékes Szabó Mihály, József Attila Tudományegyetem Pedagógiai Tanszék, H–6722 Szeged, Petőfi S. sgt. 30–31.


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia