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The Pedagogical Work of Vieth and GutsMuths

Abstract

Introduction:Philanthropism as it evolved at the end of the 18th century in Germany wanted to break completely with the contemporary methods persisting in education, with the hegemony of classical languages, and with the study of antique authors’ works; instead, it laid emphasis on practical and useful knowledge, on teaching modern languages, on acquiring knowledge based on demonstration, and on an intimate connection to nature. The aim of philanthropist education was to train virtuous citizens who honestly pursue their ordinary profession, in whose training they assigned a central role to physical education.

Purpose:In our paper, which is a part of our research exploring the appearance of the pedagogical ideas of philanthropism in Hungary, we set out to investigate the question: What was the focus of physical education in the philanthropinums? As a first step in our investigation, we give an overview of the philanthropists’ ideas regarding physical education, then we take a close look at how these ideas were put into practice in two selected institutions, namely among the walls of the philanthropinums in Dessau and Schnepfenthal, by relying on the contemporary works of Gerhard Ulrich Anton Vieth and Johann Christoph Friedrich GutsMuths. Finally, we consider their impact in Hungary.

Methods:In this study we apply the source analysis as a traditional research method in the history of education.

Conclusions:The impact of philanthropism on contemporary Hungarian public education, especially in the first half of the 19th century, can be clearly detected, which can be accredited to study trips to Germany and the Hungarian translations of German works. The presence of philanthropism can also be perceived in swimming instruction. Basedow and GutsMuths initiated the instruction of swimming and lifeguarding, and the general institutionalization of swimming instruction. The impact of philanthropists could also be felt in Hungary. Károly (Carl) Csillagh’s textbook on swimming appeared in German in 1841 with the title “Der philantropische Schwimmmeister” (“The Philanthropist Swimming Instructor”). The first book on swimming in Hungarian appeared in 1842.

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Grading of Pupils in History: One-Year Research in the Czech Republic

Abstract

Introduction: The aim of the research was to point to a wide range of factors of the pupils’ grading in History classes and to find out if this grading on the given sample corresponds with the context of the independently selected variables: pupils’ weight, inclination to the Socratic type of values, type of family, and parents’ education. Methods: A sample of 1819 7th grade pupils was made up of the pupils of randomly addressed primary schools willing to cooperate. In the course of one school year, a questionnaire survey was carried out on this sample: each of the 14 regions of the Czech Republic was represented by 5 to 9% of the respondents. Data were evaluated at a 5% level of significance by means of the Chi-squared test. Results: In all the monitored cases, a statistically significant link was demonstrated between the dependent variable (pupils’ grading) and independent variables, i.e. the results in History have a wide-spectrum effect. Discussion: The research findings correspond with the results obtained by other scholars, and external factors (independent variables) significantly affect the pupils’ school success regardless of their mental and intellectual dispositions. Limitations: School success is simply monitored through numerical grading of pupils, which does not always and completely reflect the pupils’ progress in terms of their development. It was not a longitudinal survey but only a single one-year research from which no major conclusions can be drawn. Conclusions: It was confirmed that the results of pupils in History, or their historical knowledge, represent a broad-spectrum matter in which the multiplication effect of external influences must be counted. In the future, research should be carried out in longer time ranges and with a greater emphasis on the causality of the phenomena.

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The world of female educational institutions

Abstract

Introduction: Philanthropism, as it evolved at the end of the 18th century in Germany, wanted to break completely with the contemporary methods persisting in education, with the hegemony of classical languages, and with the study of antique authors’ works; instead, it laid emphasis on practical and useful knowledge, on teaching modern languages, on acquiring knowledge based on demonstration, and on an intimate connection to nature. The impact of philanthropism on contemporary Hungarian public education, especially in the first half of the 19th century, can be clearly detected, which can be accredited to study trips to Germany and the Hungarian translations of German works. Salzmann’s institution, founded in 1784 was visited by 366 Hungarian educators, among others by Teréz Brunszvik, who also gave an account of her impressions in her memoires. Yet, we also need to mention Samuel Tessedik, who made good use of his experience gained during his journey to Germany in his school in Szarvas. Purpose: In this study, four 19th century female educational institutions were selected and the presence of philanthropist ideas in the training offered there was investigated. Three of these were established for the education of the middle-class, while one was founded specifically for aristocrats. We investigated whether the presence of philanthropism can be detected in the education offered by these four schools. Methods: In the presented study, we applied source analysis as a traditional research method in history of education. Conclusions: All the institutions under scrutiny have it in common that the founding and contributing educators and teachers were provably well-acquainted with the pedagogy of the philanthropists, and they incorporated several of its elements into their programmes. The preparation for the housewife role, conveying knowledge utilizable in practice, practical approach to teaching content, and the application of the method of illustration were all emphasized. These features show that several philanthropist characteristics can be identified in the educational principles and curricula of these institutions. Nevertheless, on closer inspection, it cannot be stated that they would have taken on an institutional character exclusively reminiscent of the “philanthropinums”

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The School Culture Heritage of the Reformation

Abstract

On the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, this essay analyses those educational innovations in the history of central European education that were introduced by the Church reform in the 16th century, following these modernizations and their further developments through the spreading of the universal school systems in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Drawing examples from the innovations in the college culture of the period, the author emphasises that those pedagogical values established in the 16th century are not only valid today, but are exemplary from the point of view of contemporary education. From these the author highlights: pupils’ autonomy (in the form of various communities), cooperation with the teachers and school management and the relative pluralism of values.

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