Contents international patterns in the history of Hungarian educational administration

History teaching as the transfer of constitutional thinking

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History teaching as the transfer of constitutional thinking

The “teaching of democracy”, teaching of “democratic values” - these have been the most legitim aims of the educational policies of the 1990s.

In a lot of post communist states (similarly to the western states) you can find a school subject whose name is “citizenship” or “democratic citizenship” or “legal knowledge of citizens”. There are a lot of deep problems with the effectiveness of these subjects. The institution of democracy too young and weak, and sometimes the real working of this institutions (parliament, jurisdiction, government, municipality, human rights) are very far from the letters of acts.

The last some years of new democracies could not offer enough example which would be the material of an explanation of one or another constitutional principal. Or: the pupils, the parents, the teachers are involved emotionally, so the explanation with the examples of 1990s not possible, and not useful at all.

There is only one solution to explain the reality of rights, acts, governing etc.: the connection of these things to the history. All of the modern constitutional institutions and principal were born sometimes in history: greatest part of them was a working reality in the 18-20th century USA and West Europe.

It is necessary to teach more about the constitutional institutions and principals of the USA and West Europe and the Austrian-Hungarian empire... That is the only way how the pupils could realize what these institutions and principles meant and mean, how they worked and work, functioned and function.

The last argument is supported by the most modern constitutional and political elite too.

These are the historical fact which hindered the history teaching of Central Europe to follow the “Western pattern”.

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