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András Németh: Educational Science – „New Education” – Educational Reforms In Hungary

The history of Hungarian academic pedagogy is a history of reception, i.e. the reception, the acceptance and the adaptation of foreign, primarily German intellectual trends. Scientific achievements were manifest in the speed of reception and in creative adaptation. This was also characteristic of both the institutionalisation of modern academic educational science at Hungarian universities and the development of reform pedagogy after the turn of the 19th and 20th century; as well as the acceptance of its foundation, empirical pedagogy, by the universities after the 1920s. The challenges of modernisation and reform considerations of three consequent periods of the development of the Hungarian nation-state can be identified in the development of Hungarian educational science as a university discipline. (1) The liberal modernisation of the Hungarian system of public education and science. Between 1870 and the turn of the century, national liberalism created both the institutions of modern Hungarian public and higher education, and the institutional network of science and research. Herbartism was the most important professional and ideological aid of this process, first becoming the official pedagogy of the state, to be raised to the position of pedagogy as an academic subject at universities later. (2) The urbanisation reform of Budapest: the period of the institutionalisation of new pedagogical endeavours (educational movements) outside universities. The period from the turn of the century to the First World War and the revolutions until 1920 was the era of the institutionalisation of reform pedagogy and empirical educational science outside the academia. Its main characteristics were: a) Efforts to create new contents of competence for the teaching profession in primary schools brought the Hungarian scientific study of children and empirical pedagogical movements into life. b) The complex urbanisation and urban political reforms of the liberal lord mayor of Budapest, István Bárczy, and the resulting overall modernisation in cultural issues. c) The combination and the ideological symbiosis of these two professional and urban reforms with the different radical sociological, artistic, political and lifestyle reform movements emerging around the turn of the century from the crisis of modern age. (3) The conservative reform of Hungarian cultural affairs, the period of wide-spread institutionalisation. This process started with the collapse of the historical Hungarian state following the peace treaties ending the First World War in the early 1920s. The new wide-spread state-run reform of cultural affairs that penetrated into the whole institutional system of the schools, higher-education and science was a response to the challenges of the new conditions. The lasting elements of reform pedagogy emancipated at this time and the experimental educational movements compatible with the approach of educational reforms became increasingly integrated into the process of the institutionalisation of educational science that turned it into an independent university discipline in the tradition of the Geistwissenschaft of the times.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 104. Number 1. 39-55. (2004)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Németh András, Eötvös Loránd Tudomány¬egye¬¬tem, Pedagógiai és Pszichológiai Kar, H–1075 Budapest, Kazinczy u. 23–27.


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia