Framework curricula for secondary schools

Developmental requirements

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Developmental requirements
Secondary grammar schools require much more advanced skills in using sources of history than the primary school level. By the end of grammar school studies students are required to know the basic rules of using and analysing the various types of primary and secondary sources, and they are required to be experienced data collectors. A basic requirement is to develop an ability to find information in libraries, reference books, encyclopaedias, atlases and journals. They must acquire computer skills which enable them to use Internet browsers and CD-ROM’s storing information related to the associate disciplines.

The causal relations behind historical and social phenomena are always complex. Whereas making students explore such causal relations help developing the need to organise historical events. Students must learn that evident correlation is rare in history. They need to be able to explain and interpret the motives of various individuals and groups, their options and constraints within a complex network of reasons and consequences. The prerequisite of that is to be able to separate the important and unimportant dimensions of a particular historical-social situation. Within a society it is desirable that individuals feel responsibility for public affairs. This attitude may be strengthened by teaching history through providing young people with a realistic picture of the role of individuals and groups in shaping the course of events.

The development of learning and discussion skills is inseparable from the improvement of verbal expression. During their studies in history, students must move from relating events, giving an account of what can be found in primary and secondary sources, and illustrating their train of thought with names and data towards giving enjoyable and transparent presentations, and mastering the practice of using verbal forms of problem raising, explanation, elaboration, conclusion and reasoning, with the correct application of the terminology of history and the associate disciplines.

In their oral and written assignments, students should try to identify questions and problems and find answers to them in a concise and clear manner. Students must learn how to make an outline, plan oral performance, prepare summaries and take notes (of a live or recorded lecture, comment, discussion), the use of spreadsheet and word processing applications.

In the field of graphical representation, students on the secondary level must be given an opportunity for preparing and analysing diagrams and graphs, collecting, selecting and perhaps creating images (e.g. photo, video recording).

An important objective is to improve students’ orientation skills. Any historical event can only be understood, if the data of it are presented in a unified topographical and chronological context. Students must have an idea of the sequence of events, and are required to recognise simultaneous events. They must know the most important dates. They need to be able to prepare simple chronological tables and use chronological works without difficulty.

The improvement of orientation in historical space is equally important. Students must develop skills to read maps, calculate and estimate the size of an area or distance, and to draw simplified maps. Students must also be aware of the changes of the historical environment, and must be able to locate the scenes of major events on a blank map. They must become able to link historical and geographical maps, and demonstrate the relationship of historical events and environmental conditions. The practice of the foregoing must include the promotion of an ecological approach to the interpretation of historical phenomena.
Year 9
Number of teaching hours per year: 74
New activities
Learning and discussion skills
Highlighting substance according to given criteria.

Comparing passages from different sources on the same event or phenomenon.

Highlighting the substance of a popular scientific text. Comparing content with other sources of knowledge.

Ability to use reference books, journals, repertories and a Hungarian version of a Internet browser.

Comparing and discussing conflicting views related to historical research in prehistory, antiquity and the Middle Ages.

Compiling thematic bibliographies by using the school library and public libraries.

Identifying conflicting views within the text of given sources and scholarly treatises of historical events. Investigating the reasons behind the differences.

A critical interpretation of simplifications in secondary sources of history under the teacher’s direction.

Making notes of a 5-6 minute long lecture delivered at normal speed.

Preparing an abstract of a short excerpt (4-5 pages) from a popular scientific text. Drafting an oral presentation on a given topic.

Verbal expression
Recognising famous relics from antiquity, and describing them in an oral presentation.

Interpreting the historical aspect of change in certain phenomena and processes in the prehistoric age, antiquity and the beginning of the Middle Ages.

Delivering a keynote address in a given topic according to the teacher’s instructions.

Oral presentation based on preliminary notes.

Representing predefined views in the discussion of certain historical issues.

Preparing charts to present demographic, economic and social historical data.

Evaluating decisions made by outstanding historical figures.
Orientation in time
Comparing the Christian way of measuring time with Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and Muslim calendars.

Linking the events of Hungarian prehistory, the era of migration and the Hungarian conquest to the great periods of world history or European history.

Preparing chronological tables.

Orientation in space
Establishing the environmental conditions of historical phenomena by comparing historical and geographical maps, on the basis of the teacher’s instructions.

Finding historical locations in maps showing the current situation.

Sketching the map of a historical area.



The Prehistoric Age and the Ancient Societies in the Orient

Introduction to history.

The evolution of man.

The beginnings of food production.

Ancient beliefs.

The civilisation of river valley societies (Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, China)

City-states and empires.

Religion and culture in the Ancient Orient.


The appearance of Homo Sapiens and the beginnings of food production.

Cca. 3000 B.C., 18th century B.C., 10th century B.C., 525 B.C.

Cheops, Hammurapi, Ramesses II, David, Solomon, Darius I, Xerxes, Buddha, Si Hunag-ti, Confucius.

Historical terms:

Homo Sapiens, palaeolithic age, neolithic age, magic, Copper Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age, despotism, polytheism, monotheism, the Bible, state, hieroglyph, religious dualism, caste, Buddhism, Brahmanism.


Rudabánya, Vértesszőlős, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Phoenicia, Palestine, Sumer, Assyria, Persia, India, China, Babylon, Tyros, Judaea, Israel, Jerusalem.

Ancient Greece

Cretan and Mycenaean civilisation.

The polis.

The evolution of democracy in Athens. The definition of democracy. The Spartan state.

Graeco-Persian wars.

Market, money and commerce in the ancient Greece.

Conflicts between Athens and Sparta.

Religion, art, science and everyday life in the ancient Greece. The empire of Alexander the Great.


13th century B.C., 776 B.C., 621 B.C., 594 B.C., 508 B.C., 490 B.C., 480 B.C., 431-404 B.C., 336-323 B.C.


Solon, Peisistratus, Cleisthenes, Miltiades, Leonidas, Themistocles, Pericles, Phidias, Herodotus, Thukydides, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Alexander the Great.

Historical terms:

Polis, aristocracy, archon, demos, tyrannis, eclesia, trial by jury, democracy, strategoi, ostracism, philosophy, Hellenism.


Athens, Sparta, Olympia, Marathon, Thermopylae, Salamis, Sparta, Peloponnesus, Macedonia, Alexandria.

Ancient Rome

From state-city to empire.

The golden age and the crisis of the Republic.

The evolution of autocracy.

Imperial rule.

Society, the organisation of the state, the army.

Rome and the provinces.

Religion, art, science and law in the ancient Rome..

Everyday life.

The establishment and spread of Christianity.

The great migrations and the disintegration of antique civilisation.

753 B.C., 510 B.C., 367 B.C., 287 B.C., 264-241 B.C., 218-201 B.C., 168 B.C., 48 B.C., 31 B.C., 212 A.D, 313 A.D., 395 A.D., 476 A.D.


Hannibal, Cornelius Scipio, Gracchus brothers, Marius, Sulla, Spartacus, Cicero, Pompeius, Caesar, Antonius, Augustus, Trajan, Hadrian, Diocletian, Jesus of Nazareth, Paul, Constantine, Attila, Livius, Tacitus, Plutarch.

Historical terms:

Patrician, plebeian, cliens, consul, senate, dictator, tribune, censor, province, senatorial estate, order of knighthood, triumvirate, principate system, limes, legio, colonus, dominatus, synagogue, Diaspore, apostle, church, bishop, synod.


Rome, Carthago, Cannae, Zama, Hispania, Gaul, Actium, Dacia, Pannonia, Jerusalem, Constantinople, Aquincum, Sopianae, Savaria.

Early Feudalism in Europe

The evolution of the Frankish Empire.

Differences in the development of Western and Eastern Christianity.

The establishment of feudal economy and society.

The development of the Byzantine Empire.

Islam and the Arab world.

Foundation of states in Northern-, Middle- and Eastern Europe.

622, 732, 800, 843, 962, 1054.


Clovis, Charles Martell, Little Pepin, the Karoling family, Charlemagne, St. Benedict, Justinian, Cyril and Method, Otto I (the Great), Mohammed.


Poitiers, Aarchen, Constantinople, Papal State, Kiev, Mecca, Cordoba, Baghdad.

Historical terms:

Prince-princedom, Orthodox Church, Roman Catholic Church, pope, monk, monastery, Benedictine Order, feudum, serf, socage service, allodium, Islam, Koran, caliph.

History of the Hungarians

up to the Foundation

of the State

Introduction to the ancient history of the Hungarians.

The origin and migration of the Hungarian people.

From the conquest to the foundation of the state.

The historical significance of Duke Géza and King Stephen.

896, 955, 973, 997-1000-1038.


Álmos, Árpád, King Stephen I, Duke Géza, Koppány, Prince Imre, Bishop Gellért (Gerard Sagredo).


Magna Hungaria, Levédia, Etelköz, Verecke strait, Augsburg, Pannonhalma, Esztergom.

Historical terms:

Nomadism, dual rule, clan, tribe, Székely (Hungarians of Eastern Transylvania), raids, fatherhood, bailiff system, bailiff, tithe.

Everyday life,

history of lifestyle

Two of the following topics must be selected for discussion during the school year:

The relationship of man and nature in myths.

Mass entertainment in antiquity.

Schools in antiquity.

Theories and myths about the origin of the Hungarian people.

Prerequisites of moving ahead
Students can interpret simple replicas of objects, photos of non-written sources, sketches (e.g. of an archaeological site) as sources of history; and work with short passages(approx. 10-20 lines) from antique sources. They can collect information on not too difficult topics in the school library and in small public libraries with the teacher’s or the librarian’s help. They can analyse simple narrative sources under the teacher’s direction, by taking a critical approach in order to establish the real content and the inherent contradictions. They can give structured answers to the teacher’s questions, and make recapitulative presentations. They view historical events in relation with the Julian calendar. They know how to read the appropriate maps of the atlas used at secondary school to establish historical events and processes. They can provide quantitative analyses of historical phenomena, and make measurements in the map.

Year 10
Number of teaching hours per year: 74

New activities
Learning and discussion skills
Analysing written sources: assessing the value of various texts as a source of history, and comparing sources exhibiting different approaches.

Establishing what information a contemporary might have had to make a decision, what processes might have remained and did remain hidden from him/her (e.g. economic processes, change of climate, etc.).

Making notes based on predefined excerpts from specialist literature.

Using notes to make a one or two page long presentation.

Writing a short paper (not longer than 3-6 pages) under the teacher’s instruction and by using specialist literature (books, journals).
Verbal expression
Describing the life of some outstanding figures from the Middle Ages and the period between 1490 and 1721.

Evaluating the situation of people facing difficult decisions at historical crossroads.

The correct use of terminology related to the period in question.

Writing about historical subjects related to the Middle Ages or the period between 1490 and 1721 with or without aids. Size of the work specified (e.g. 15-30 lines).

Presenting a subject by combining various methods and tools (e.g. verbal presentation, map, picture, scenes from a film, objects, etc.)
Orientation in time
Recognising change in history, and analysing change in concrete historical events. Familiarity with and application of inductive and deductive reasoning in speech and writing alike.

Preparing a chronological table of major processes or phenomena.

Orientation in space
Establishing relations between events taking place in time and space. Preparing timelines and tables.

Establishing the environmental conditions and reasons of historical phenomena on the basis of historical and geographical maps, with the teacher’s help (e.g. mineral deposits - mining cities).

Locating topographic data, processes and phenomena learnt during the year on a map showing current arrangements.



The High Middle Ages

Medieval church and reigning power in Europe.

The age of chivalry.

Free to move serfs and migration movements..

Medieval towns.

Education in the Middle Ages.

Everyday life in the Middle Ages.

1066, 1095, 1122, 1215, 1302, 1278.


William the Conqueror, Gregory VII, Henry IV, Pope Innocent III, Philip IV (the Fair), Rudolf Habsburg, Saint Francis, Saint Dominic, St. Thomas Aquinas.

Historical terms:

Royal court, chamber, chancellery, investiture, excommunication, pilgrim, relic, crusades, inquisition, heresy, Mendicant Orders, township, soil rotation, hospes, guild, scholasticism, university, chivalry, Romanesque style, Gothic style.


The Holy Land, Genoa, Venice, Flanders, Champagne, Paris, Oxford, Cambridge, Hanseatic League, Levantine merchant route.

The Reign of the Árpád Dynasty

Consolidation of the new order - social change in the 11th century.

Saint Ladislas and King Coloman

The reign of Béla III.

Magna Carta (Golden Bull) and Tartar invasion.

Andreas II and Béla IV. Economic and social change in the 13th century.

Civilisation in the Árpád era.

1077-1095, 1095-1116, 1172-1196, 1205-1235, 1222, 1235-1270, 1241-1242, 1301.


Andreas I, Ladislas I, King Coloman, Béla III, Anonymus, Andreas II, Béla IV, Simon Kézai.

Historical terms:

Castle communities, castle serfs, shrine, viceroy, voivode, palatine, the sacred crown, royalty, servient, banderium, baron, nobleman, Golden Bull, familiarity, Szekler, Saxon, Cuman.


Fehérvár, Pozsony (Bratislava), Croatia, Transylvania, Dalmatia, Szerémség, Muhi, Buda.

Late Middle Ages

Crisis in Western-Europe (famine, epidemics, wars).

Italy, humanism and renaissance.

The evolution of Estate Monarchy in England, France and Spain.

The fall of the German Empire and the Papacy.

States in the Central and Eastern European regions.

The expansion of the Ottoman Empire.

1337-1453, 1356, 1389, 1410, 1415, 1453.


Lorenzo Medici, Machiavelli, Jeanne d’Arc, Henry VII (Henry Tudor), Charles IV of Luxembourg, Jan Hus, Gutenberg, Ivan III, Mohammed II, Ferdinand of Aragon, Isabelle of Castile.

Historical terms:

Estates, renaissance, humanism, Hussites, sultan, spahi, janissary, reconquistador.


Florence, Milan, Castile, Aragon, Switzerland, Prague, Rigómező.

Hungary in the 14th and 15the Centuries

Charles Robert and Louis the Great.

Social changes. Population and natural environment.

The age of Sigismund of Luxembourg.

Struggle against Ottoman expansionism.

János Hunyadi. The reign of Matthias Hunyadi.

Attempt at centralisation.

Lifestyles in 15th century Hungary.

Culture and education.

1308-1342, 1342-1382, 1351, 1387-1437, 1396, 1443-44, 1444, 1448, 1456, 1458-1490.


Máté Csák, Charles Robert, Louis the Great, Sigismund of Luxembourg, Wladislaw Jagello, János Hunyadi, Matthias Hunyadi, Ladislas V, John Vitéz, Pál Kinizsi, Antonio Bonfini.

Historical terms:

Thirtieth, gate tax, free royal town, mining town, market town, court-baron, jus gladii, baron, lower nobility, ninth, aviticity, line of fortresses, governor, hearth tax, extraordinary army tax, Black Army, Corvina.


Temesvár, Körmöcbánya, Selmecbánya, Besztercebánya, Visegrád, Havasalföld, Moldavia, Kassa, Nikápoly, Nándorfehérvár, Bohemia, Vienna.

Evolution of Capitalist Conditions


The great geographical discoveries and their consequences: contact between European and non-European cultures; colonisation.

The rise of the Atlantic powers. The beginnings of the formation of the system of modern world economy.

Reformation and Catholic revival. The Baroque period.

Absolutism. The emergence of the modern state.

Changes in the distribution of power in Europe: attempts to establish French hegemony.

War and army in the early pre-modern period.

Revolution in England. The emergence of parliamentary monarchy.

Changes in the scientific interpretation of the world.

1492, 1517, 1588, 1618-1648, 1640-1649, 1689, 1701-1714.


Columbus, Magellan, Vasco da Gama, Charles V, Luther, Calvin, Copernicus, Galilei, Elizabeth I, Philip II, Cromwell, Richelieu, Louis XIV, Colbert, Peter the Great.

Historical terms:

Colonialism, conquistador, plantation, world trade, absolutism, Reformation, Protestant, Lutheran, Calvinist, Unitarian, counter-reformation, Jesuits, manufacture, Anglican, monopoly, Puritan, legal statement, mercantilism.


Geneva, the Low Countries, Antwerp, London, Versailles, Portuguese and Spanish colonies .

Late Feudalism in Hungary


The Jagello period.

Turkish occupation.

The Habsburgs and the Hungarian estates.

The Principality of Transylvania. Wars of liberty and attempts at unification: István Bocskai, Gábor Bethlen, Miklós Zrínyi.

Reformation and Catholic revival in Hungary.

Economic and social change. Population and environment. The change of lifestyle in Hungary between 1490 and 1711.

Expelling the Turks.

Rákóczi’s freedom fight.

1514, 1526, 1541, 1552, 1556, 1591-1606, 1664, 1686, 1699, 1703-1711.


György Dózsa. Lajos II, János Szapolyai, Sulejman II, György Fráter, Miklós Zrínyi, István Báthory, Gáspár Károli, István Bocskai, Gábor Bethlen, Péter Pázmány, Miklós Zrínyi (the poet and general), Lipot I, Jenő Savoyai, Ferenc Rákóczi II.

Historical terms:

Perpetual serfdom, heyduck, occupation, kuruc, labanc, confederation of the estates, dethronement.


Mohács, Eger, Szigetvár, Sárospatak, Győr, Várad, Nagyszombat, Szentgotthárd, Zenta.

Everyday life, history of life style

Two of the following topics should be discussed during the school year:

Assertion and protection of interests in the Middle Ages (communes, guilds and universities).

Climate and history (e.g. the impact of the so-called ‘minor ice age’).

Crime and law-enforcement in the Middle Ages.

The development of the state from 1490 to 1711: absolutism.

Prerequisites of moving ahead
Students are familiar with the important archaeological finds dating back to the Middle Ages and the period between 1490 and 1721. They can describe the ones included in the syllabus in speech or writing. They can compare sources with textbooks, and explain the reasons of possible differences. In public libraries they can compile literature containing a few items for the purpose of presentations and keynote lectures according to the teacher’s instructions. They can identify and distinguish historical processes, periods. They ca recite lessons and hold presentations about historical issues freely but in a well structured way (e.g. lessons, parts of chapters, processes crosscutting lessons, comparisons, etc.). They can interpret figures, maps and other already known carriers of information verbally, following short preparation. They can see the links between the various periods of Hungarian and world history. They use the chronological tables in their textbooks and workbooks. They know how to read the appropriate maps of the atlas used at secondary school to establish the details of historical events and processes. They are able to compare the data of the thematic maps and draw conclusions from them with the teacher’s assistance.

Year 11

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