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Géza Sáska: The anti-capitalist and anti-democratic concept of social equality in 20th century educational ideologies

The second part of the study gives an overview of the main points of the changes of the pedagogic ideologies of Soviet and post-WW2 Hungarian politics. These attempted to create an alternative to bourgeois society and to market- and competition-based utilitarianism, by creating an egalitarian society and a socialist economy satisfying people’s needs. It is argued that the anti-capitalist reform pedagogic movements were incorporated into state politics in the post-revolutionary Soviet Union, too. After the fall of Trotsky and Bukharin, who had been the political supporters of new (reform) pedagogy and psychoanalysis, which shaped the new man for the new, socialist society, Stalin banned the reform pedagogy movement in the Paedology trial. He turned to other pedagogical ideologies and other forms of school organi-zation, loyal to the central will and directly adjustable to political and economic proc-esses.Post-WW2 Hungarian events followed the Soviet pattern. First, every non-socialist pedagogical trend was eliminated, then, after the Hungarian Paedology trial in 1950, the so-cialist pedagogical elite had the choice of either to join the actually existing (Stalinist) trend, or to turn to anti-Stalinist socialist ideas, proven to be utopistic. The left-wing turn of Hun-garian internal politics in the 1980s attempted to the re-create the collectivist, self-directive model of Tito’s Yugoslavia, which rejected monetary and commercial mechanisms. After the change of the political regime in 1990 this trend ceased to govern the economic sphere, but it continued to dominate the civil services. Thus the operation of schools still depends on the behaviour of the self-organising teaching staff. The pedagogic elite rules state-wide educa-tional policy governed by principles of reform pedagogy, asserting the thought of social equality based on biological abilities as well as an ethos of anti-achievement, and propagating a pedagogy that satisfies children’s needs – under the conditions of market economy.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 105. Number 1. 83-99. (2005)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Sáska Géza, PH Felsőoktatási-kutató Intézet, H-1126 Budapest, Sólyom u. 19/a.


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia