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János Ugrai: Lessons for the history of education from a unique source

Data from the autobiographies of 164 Calvinist ministers from four dioceses in Northern Hungary, dated from 1807, were analysed as sources for educational history. It is argued that Calvinist ministers in the vicinity of Calvinist centres such as Miskolc or Sárospatak had better qualifications than those in peripheral regions. The inadequate structure of the contemporary school system, details of the cost of college life in Sárospatak and the attraction of the Protestant College of Sárospatak are revealed. The data shows that the opportunity to visit foreign universities and academies (peregrinatio) was considered a privilege. The conditions for gaining from such visits abroad, however, do not seem ideal, because only few had studied German before the journey, even fewer could carry on their studies abroad for a longer period, and only a fraction of the ministers in our sample wrote about their academic experiences. Further research is needed to investigate the background of the ministers (parental and cultural) and the reasons behind changes in their location while in service. These circumstances would probably modify the picture draw only on the basis of their autobiographies.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 103. Number 2. 211-228. (2003)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Ugrai János, H–3530 Miskolc, Dankó u. 3. III/3.


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia