Iskola, nemzetépítés, társadalmi mobilitás
Barnabás Szekér: Reform and Decline. Changes in Eighteenth- Century Secondary School Enrolment Figures Through the Example of the Piarist Secondary School in Pest
A couple of decades ago Zoltán Fallenbüchl and Domokos Kosáry had an interesting debate about eighteenth-century education in Hungary. Certain figures led Fallenbüchl to conclude that instead of an increase, the Ratio Educationis reform of the age of enlightened absolutism resulted in a decrease in the enrolment figures of (Catholic) secondary schools. Kosáry thought that this conclusion was wrong and the apparent decrease was a result of misinterpretation. The present study first briefly summarises nineteenth- and twentieth-century historical interpretations of this educational phenomenon, and continues with the analysis of the enrolment figures and composition of student groups in a Pest secondary school which had been operated by the Piarist Order since 1717. Two periods are analysed and compared: one well before the reforms were enacted (1736–1741) and the other immediately after (1776–1781). The analysis suggests that the changes in the size of student body seems to have been shaped by a more complex web of interrelationship than the debaters had thought: enrolment figures show that, even within the smaller segment of Catholic high schools, changes were far from synchronic and applicable across all schools. It is clear that students attending Catholic secondary schools at the end of the 1770s were altogether fewer than around mid-century and that the education reform had something to do with this decrease. However, figures from the Piarist school in Pest and others do not prove that this decrease was the result of a concerted governmental effort to target certain social groups’ access to secondary education, as Fallenbüchl argued. Kosáry, however, pointed out an important factor contributing to this decrease, realising that one of the reasons for the decreasing student numbers was the consistent separation of levels of education, specifically the new practice of categorising students in preparatory classes as elementary school pupils. Even during the immediate years of the reform, government-level central measures can hardly be used to explain all changes that occurred. Thus, it is worthwhile to seek other explanations, such as the uncertainty or stabilisation following the discontinuation or change of school authorities, or changes in the practice of attending or enrolling in school.
János Ugrai: Step Forward or Dead End? The Beginning of Professionalization of School Teachers through the Example of the Protestant Teachers in Abaúj
The question in the title refers to the possible interpretation of ecclesiastical career choices around the beginning of the nineteenth century. The study, based on the initial compilation of all the names of relevant school teachers, discusses the lives, as well as academic and professional careers of Protestant school teachers in Abaúj in the northeast of Hungary. For the majority of the recorded 470 school teachers, teaching was a transitory phase in their careers and they worked as teachers but for a few years of their lives. On one hand, however, a group of 81 teachers is highly relevant for the study: they worked as teachers as part of preparations for their ordination as clergymen. Their studies were often rather hit and miss, and their academic progress also suggests that most cases consecrated priests did not graduate from the best schools. In their case, despite employment difficulties, working as a school teacher was a step forward. Since this step forward was made possible in a limited number of primary schools of barely over a dozen settlements, the new teachers’ fate was sealed in the moment they were told which school they were appointed to. These were all schools who had not abandoned the practice of quick turnover of teachers. As the number of these schools had decreased, people opted to become priests at an increasingly young age. To use the terminology of modern education theory: selection took place earlier and consequently it also became stricter. In this context, while that certain step forward was becoming more difficult to attain, those who managed to reach it had better chances to achieve even more. On the other hand, there is another important group of about 70 individuals who provided a stable core for the contemporary teaching community. These teachers devoted their entire career to education somewhere in the parish. Their long-term teaching positions cannot confidently be viewed as a dead end or the stagnation of career in comparison with the previous group. This is corroborated by ample evidence for cases when a congregation grew attached to their teacher as much as, or even more than their pastor, which is a decidedly significant factor in the first stages of the professionalization process.
I. Gábor Kovács: A Prosopography of the Professors of the faculty of Reformed Theology at the University of Debrecen and the Sociology of the reformed Confessional-educational formation
The study provides an analysis of entries on teachers of the Faculty of Reformed Theology in Debrecen recorded in the forthcoming prosopography database of all university teachers active in Hungary between 1848 and 1944. The family history of theology professors appointed in the first half of the twentieth century can be traced back two-three generations and often as far back as the eighteenth century. The main research question of the analysis is whether it is possible to use sociology to verify a previous hypothesis, which suggests that there is an organically developed confessional-educational structure behind the protestant segment of the intellectual elite of twentieth-century Hungary. Even a relatively small sample of twenty individuals was sufficient to demonstrate the continuity of this formation from the eighteenth century onwards. Its core comprised of a clerical order similar to the German Pfarrhaus, complemented by other elements such as teachers, primary teachers, notaries or rural administrators who were all part of a complex web with close ties to the landed gentry. Although priesthood as a profession was passed on from generation to generation, which resulted in the birth of preacher dynasties, the continuity of the formation was mostly maintained by the constant addition of further individuals and families. At the same time, despite its internal movements, the pool that provided the supply of newcomers can be characterised as relatively constant. This pool consisted of upwardly mobile protestant members of nobility, non-aristocratic small-holders, craftsmen, aristocratic and honoratior intellectuals, and smallholder noblemen of Hungarian ethnicity. The concept of this protestant Hungarian confessional-educational formation can only be analysed together with this supply pool, as well as the whole ecclesiastical and educational institutional framework, which controlled not only the process of supply but the denominational block as a whole.
Barna Ábrahám: Schools and Nation Building. Problems of Slovakian-Language Education in the Second Half of the Nineteenth Century
The study reviews the main issues surrounding Slovakian-language education in the second half of the long nineteenth century. The brief history of the institutional framework explains the initial boom of primary education (parish and village schools), followed by a dramatic decrease in their numbers in the Age of Dualism and a decade-long strife for Slovakian secondary education. The story continues with the birth of the first secondary schools in the 1850s and 1860s (benefitting from the policies of Absolutism), their eventual governmentled discontinuation in 1874–75, and the subsequent efforts to either reinstate them or substitute them with Czech and Moravian schools and trade schools. The study examines the role of the church, government and ethnic politics in the overall negative balance of these processes, and at the same time provides insight into the internal limitations of the Slovak stakeholders: mass apathy and opportunism, preference for Hungarian-language schools, teachers with no dedication (providing poor teaching, money-oriented attitudes, alcoholism), and active dedicated teachers with problems of attitude, such as intolerance, doctrinaire outlook, complete disregard of local circumstances, or looking down on the peasantry. Further nuancing the picture, the study goes on to describe the ambiguous role of the Czech elite, especially the treatment of Slovakian as an independent literary language with disdain and enforcing Czechoslovakism, which was to severely impede the building of Slovakian-language education system after 1918. In conclusion, the study points out the fundamental paradox that while the elite considered Slovakian-language schools, and primary and secondary school teachers, as principal means of nation building, the solidification of the institutions and teachers’ situation was thought to be the duty of the same (assumed) society and nation.
Csaba Sasfi: Reproduction and Mobility. The Social Functions of Secondary Education in the Age of Dualism
Similarly to developed European countries, secondary education in Hungary comprised a unique institutional framework in the nineteenth century. The core of this framework was the traditional secondary school with a curriculum based on Latin and classical education, and the primary aim of preparing students for higher education. Besides this type of secondary school, modern types emerged from the middle of the nineteenth century onwards, such as Realschul, lower secondary schools, vocational teacher training schools and schools of trade and commerce. These took over part of the remit of traditional secondary schools and fundamentally diversified the institutional framework hitherto dominated by the traditional secondary schools, boarding schools and lyceums. The differentiation in this field naturally brought about a more varied distribution of students across the widening range of available secondary education institutions. The first half of the study explores the social characteristics of the distribution of students using data available about occupation, demographic and education in the 1910 Census. This analysis suggests that although traditional secondary schools remain prevalent in the first decade of the twentieth century, the more modern options for secondary education also developed into real alternatives on the educational landscape. Although students who wished to emulate their fathers’ high degree of education still typically chose traditional secondary schools, they ceased to form the absolute majority. The study suggests that the institutional modernisation process of secondary education did not result in social isolation and exclusivity for the more traditional types of secondary schools. The second half of the essay is a dynamic study of the student body of traditional secondary schools between 1882 and 1910, which not only confirms but also complements the findings discussed previously: while the students of this school type became more diverse as the schools became accessible for emerging modern-age social groups, the proportion of students from educated families somewhat decreased. At the same time, the largest subset of the student body in 1910 is still made up of of students from educated families, which lent a unique comprehensive character to the social profile of traditional secondary schools in this era. This character is best interpreted in the context of the influence of all available types of secondary education at the time, and the findings not only provide insight into social history, but also important lessons for the education policy makers of today.
Adrienn Nagy: The Royal Hungarian Export Academy and Education in Fiume (Rijeka) in the Age of Dualism. Hungarianisation and Vocational Training
The study explores the role of Fiume’s secondary school of trade and commerce and the higher education Export Academy in the Hungarian educational market in the Age of Dualism, as well as the employability of their students in the Hungarian job market. The history of these two schools shows that Hungarianisation efforts resulted in the deterioration of the quality of education in secondary schools after the turn of the century. This was mainly because the Italian-speaking majority of the student body seriously struggled with Hungarian as the official language of instruction. Since the majority of the students at the Export Academy were Hungarian speakers, they did not have to contend with such difficulties. This also meant further difference in the social composition of the two student bodies: while the secondary school students were Italian Catholics, the Academy’s students were predominantly Hungarian-speaking Jews. The parents of most students in these schools were independent merchants and tradesmen, their children, however, used their acquired knowledge and skills to become civil servants.
Judit Bégány: The Social Character of a Reformed Girls’ High School between 1920 and 1940
The study contributes to the now several years long research project studying women’s higher education between the world wars by exploring the social character of the Baár–Madas Reformed Girls’ High School in Budapest, and providing an introduction to a methodology suitable for institutional-level socio-historical analyses. The study analyses the composition, social recruitment and socio-cultural background of the students enrolled between 1920 and 1940 using quantitative methodology on data available in the school registers about the students’ religion, place of birth, residence, and the occupation of parents. This data is complemented with qualitative sources of school history and comparative statistical data available about the students of other Protestant girls’ schools and Budapest girls’ schools. The study aims to explore the modes of action which affected the social function and historical role of the school. The occupation of parents is not categorised simply by industry, employer or employment status, but by a variable created to represent the parents’ place in the hierarchy of social prestige, based on their inferred level of education, income, position within the activity structure and the resulting rank and prestige. Finally, a complex variable based on a combination of the students cultural, geographical and social heritage is used to discover the factors affecting the enrollment and staying power of students, as well as the number of years completed or the time of dropping out.
Tamás Csíki: Urbanisation and Self-Organisation. Civic Societies in Košice in the Second Half of the Nineteenth Century
The study examines the history of civic societies in Kassa (present-day Košice, Slovakia), which were important elements of the urbanisation process of the town, and attest to the diversity of local communities. In terms of the sociological interpretation of behaviour, the town’s self-organised societies reflect the segregation of Estates across urban communities: the Nagy Kaszinó (Great Casino), founded in the Hungarian Reform-Era of the 1830s, quickly became the exclusive club of middle class elites, the Polgári Társaskör (Civil Social Club) followed the social patterns of the lives of merchants and tradesmen, while the Kassai Kaszinó attracted its membership primarily from county administrators and landed gentry. The Jewish-founded Kassai Társaskör (Kassa Social Club), as well as the Jewish participation in the Nagy Kaszinó, suggest that religious affiliation and strategies of social integration co-existed in society memberships. In terms of history of ideas, Kosice’s cultural associations represent various contexts of culture, education and self-education. For example, choirs provided fora to express liberal, democratic or patriotic ideas alike, and Nemzeti Kör (National Club) was founded with a programme of radicalizing Hungarianisation as early as the 1880s. While members of self-education societies were able to acquire education within the framework of autonomous social life, Catholic associations, such as the Legényegylet (Young Men’s Association) and the association of village teachers, were striving to realise neo-Conservative ideas of sociability. Mutual societies, such as the funeral aid and self-help organisations which retained the traditions of trade guilds, illustrate how the corporative nature of the town’s erstwhile urban life remained a strong force in self-organisation as late as the Age of Dualism in the second half of the nineteenth century. At the same time, however, company health funds, whose operation was based on shared necessity, became the precursors of state-funded social security for workers