17 SES 01, Paper Session
The time between the two World Wars was one of the most significant periods of the Hungarian histories’ education. I would like to present one important educational scientist-teacher and thinker, Sandor Karacsony (1891-1952), who contributed to make this period so remarkable. He is a prominent figure in pedagogy, especially in Reformed pedagogy, because he combined Reformed theology and education science theory. He offered a life-program (mainly for pedagogues), which guidelines stand its ground in European comparative as well. The Hungarian Communist Party (Magyar Kommunista Párt) displeased his work, that is why he was supervised by the party (e.g.: members of the Party visited his lectures). Which of his theories were the most recent in his time, which of his views triggered revulsion off from the political culture? What was the content of his educational reform? How did his faith and belief emerged in his pedagogy?
My paper tries to answer these questions by analysing the works of Sandor Karacsony and the documents from the fields of press and recollection. My paper aims to outline the characteristics of Sandor Karacsony’s educational policy in international dimensions and its political judgement.
Sandor Karacsony was the twentieth century’s well-known and excellent lecturer, whose intellectual heritage has a great effect on pedagogy nowadays as well. (Szekfű, 1939) He was proud of his Hungarian roots, believed in the future of the Hungarian folk and also felt responsibility for the transborder folk. (Fehér, 1938) Because of his duties and pledges he stayed a lot in foreign countries, so he had the chance to establish and maintain contacts there. Taking notice of this, he sounded genuinely the fraternity and reconcilation with our neighbours. On 10th April 1945 he held a presentment about democratic education, after that a criticism appeared about him in the leftist newspaper, Tiszántúli Néplap. Karacsony was accused of ideological prejudice. Afterwards influential party members visited his academic lectures and his public life activities. After 1945 he was treated as a reactive, his work was rendered more difficult.
He tried to cooperate with the leftist Party, though he didn’t join to the Hungarian Communist Party (later as Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party). This interoperability was acknowledged. However, with the recruitment of the Party (after 1948), his idealistic views were attacked, he had to walk out of the public life. He was judged by party-members, or by his ex-students as well because of his antisocialist views and counter-revolutionary beliefs. Because Karacsony had too many acolytes, the Party couldn’t squeeze on them politically, it would have affected too many people. (Kontra, 2003) So they decided to pension Karacsony off (1950), but his monthly emoluments was granted only partly.
My main assumptions are the following:
1. The unfolding of Sandor Karacsony’s philosophy was rendered more difficult by the ideology of the Communist Party.
2. Sandor Karacsony’s educational reform was determined by his Reformed conviction.
3. In his conception system his pedagogy, Calvinism and his national consciousness lock into each other.
The life, work, and books of the deeply religious, Calvinist Sándor Karácsony – as a Doctor of Philosophy, Pedagogy, and Hungarian Linguistics (1929, Debrecen) – are quite naturally defined and permeated by an analysis of man’s social interactions, an emphasis on the role of interpersonal communication, respect for God and his belief in education and educability.
Karacsony’s theory of social interactions shows a big similarity with Daniel Goleman’s (1996; 2007) conception, both of them write about the importance of healthy social contacts.
Like Karl Barth (1938), the Swiss protestant theologian he professed, that the teachings of Jesus Christ and the interpersonal relations, dialogues are of crucial importance.
This research deals with the Hungarian Histories of Education between the two World Wars. We do know, that the reconstruction of the recent past requires a lot of sources to create a whole image of the events. That is why I used different kind of methods. First of all, I collected and sorted the relevant sources out from the press-material of Sandor Karacsony – different sources can be used in this context: pedagogical and other lexicons, different types of press etc. I tried to avoid the evaluation, subjectivity. During collecting the facts, I felt it important to analyse the life, views of the authors, for example their opinion and connection with the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party (e.g. Elemér Kerékgyártó), because it could influence their attitude to Sandor Karacsony, The other aspect was analysing Sandor Karacsony’s writings. Karácsony developed a unique system of social psychology, which describes the relationship of man with other people and with God. In his view, the social psychological foundation of pedagogy consists of four major parts, of which he had written several books. I have analysed and interpreted these books: 1. Linguistic, literary education and the intellectual functioning of the social soul, in the volumes: Magyar nyelvtan társaslélektani alapon (Hungarian Grammar on a Social Psychological Basis) (1938), A könyvek lelke (The Soul of Books) (1941). 2. The upper limit of the social soul and education for the transcendent, in the volumes: A magyar világnézet (The Hungarian Worldview) (1941), A magyarok Istene (The God of Hungarians) (1943). 3. Social education and the volitional functioning of the social soul, in the volumes: A magyarok kincse (The Treasure of Hungarians) (1944), Magyar ifjúság (Hungarian Youth) (1946), Ocsúdó magyarság (Awakening Hungarians) (1942). 4. The lower limit of the social soul and legal education, in the volumes: A magyar demokrácia (Hungarian Democracy) (1945), A magyar béke (Hungarian Peace) (1947). Moreover, the subject of the analysis was the books, that Karacsony had written to his students, and his publicistic activity as well. Considering the erudition of the research I thought it important to: - reveal the writings about Sandor Karacsony of different political and ideological authors; - gain the examined datas of different periods; - be objective, reflecting my researcher position.
According to Karacsony the education gain its end, that is the pupil becomes grown-up, when he/ she can honour the other person as an autonomous, independent being. In the education he emphasizes the here, now and so triplet, that means, that the veneu, the time and the method has to be treated together. He imagines the future of the Hungarian education in a reform, that manifests itself in the attitude of the educator towards the students. Hungarianness and education locks into each other in his philosophy, he professed, that Hungarian students can only be teached well by native Hungarian teachers, who are up in the features of the pupils’ behaviour. Sandor Karacsony’s contemporaries had an indisposition for his theory of Hungarianness, of the Hungarian soul because of its novelty, so he didn’t become popular. Karacsony’s social psychological system that describes his approach is based on the ‘social soul’, by which concept he means a spiritual behaviour or attitude towards our fellow men and the world around us. His educational, creator work is traceable in three ways: self-education, social contacts and the material results, which are visible for the outside world e.g. his publications, books. The main point of Sandor Karacsony’s educational reform is, that he refers the Bible’s principles to the education, to the contacts of human beings, which is in fact – according to his view- the reestablishing of the natural relation. (Buber, 2014) Karacsony’s educational modell teaches us, that education is not imaginable without faith, that means, that the educator can not be irreligious neither. Though the faith does not confined to the Reformed or Christian faith. Faith is accepting those moral and human values, of which the educator professes during the education. Therefore it does not depend on institutional religion, only on individual belief certitude.
Barth, Carl (1938): The Holy Spirit and the Christian Life: The Theological Basis of Ethics. Westminster John Knox Press Barth, Carl (1960): The Humanity of God. Westminster John Knox Press Buber, Martin (2014): Between Man and Man. Martino Fine Books Chang, Edward C.- D'Zurilla, Thomas J.- Sanna, Lawrence J. (Ed)(2004).: Social problem solving: Theory, research, and training,American Psychological Association, Washington, DC, US Goleman, Daniel (2007): Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships. Bantam Books Goleman, Daniel (1996): Emotional Intelligence. Why it can matter more than IQ. London: Bloomsbury Fehér Gábor (1938): Karácsony Sándor, a pedagógus. Protestáns Szemle, 1938/12. 571 Hall, Granville Stanley. 1911. Educational Problems. London, New York: Appleton Honeywill, Ross (2015): Social intelligence is also being able to make important social decisions which can change your life The Man Problem: destructive masculinity in Western culture, Palgrave Macmillan, New York. Karácsony Sándor (1938): Magyar nyelvtan társaslélektani alapon. Exodus, Budapest Karácsony Sándor (1945): A magyar demokrácia Budapest. Exodus Karácsony Sándor (1993): Magyar nevelés. Pécel: Csökmei Kör Kerékgyártó Elemér (1955): A „népies – karácsonyista” társadalomfelfogásról. Társadalmi Szemle február – március p.117-138. Kontra György (2003): Karácsony Sándor, a nagyhírű professzor, Budapest, BIP Maritain, Jacques (1962): L’educazione della persona. La Scuola Editrice, Brescia Matthews, Brian (2006): Engaging Education. Developing Emotional Literacy, Equity and Co-education. Open University Press Németh László (1964): Mai témák. Budapest. Gondolat Kiadó Peabody, Francis Greenwood (1903): The religion of an educated man. The Macmillan Compony, New York Smith, John E.(1995): Experience and God. Fordham University Press, New York Sovernigo, Giuseppe (2003): Religione e persona. Psicologia dell’esperienza religiosa. Edizioni Dehoniane, Bologna Szekfű Gyula (1939): Lírai történelemszemlélet. Magyar Szemle, 1939. aug. p.303-306. Thorndike, Edward Lee (1920), "A constant error in psychological ratings", Journal of Applied Psychology, 4 (1): 25–29. Vergote, Antoine (1997): Religion, belief and unbelief. Leuven University Press, Amsterdam-Atlanta White, Dan (2004): Pedagogy – the missing link in religious education. Australian Catholic University, Strathfield
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