23 SES 14 C, Citizenship and Careers Education
We need prepared, conscious and active citizens, says the EU; but whose interest is it to have these “good citizens”? For example, the individuals’, who have been more and more in focus since the end of the 20th century, due to the change of paradigm resulting from the emphasis on human rights, which enables the recognition of the rights of citizens even confronting their own countries. (Kopper 2010) Furthermore, it is the interest of the station where the citizen lives, because it is necessary for the functioning of the local government. The countries also need citizens for their functioning who know their rights and obligations. Also the European Union needs citizens who have both national and European identities.
We may ask, if this is of such importance, why is this not controlled? Anyway, when and how should it be controlled? Is there a minimum of civics that ought to be known?
In our opinion, there are minimum criteria for civics, provided to education by the states themselves. This is the expectation known throughout international law that a future citizen should give account of their essential, basic knowledge concerning their chosen country. The acquirement of the examination in basic constitutional studies is the interest of a particular country not only in the case of those applying for naturalization but it can be regarded as a minimal knowledge desired with all adult citizens.
On behalf of the Hungarian state it is an assumption that all citizens leaving Hungarian public education have this knowledge since they had acquired it by the age of 14. “The topics of the examination are a concise essence of the knowledge which young people finishing the eighth year of primary school had learned in the fields of history, society and Hungarian culture.”
The course of the exam and the themes to be acquired are described in Appendix 7 of 125/1993 (22.09) Government Decree concerning the execution of Law 1993/LV about Hungarian citizenship. This is like a calling card; the core of the Hungarian civics which should be an indispensable topic in citizenship education.
It is an interesting dilemma that active citizenship is only a desire as it cannot be forced; but democracy trusts in the voluntary acting of citizens for the sake of commonweal. We tend to act spontaneously if we consider the task as ours for some reasons. But if we do not know the system that we live in well enough, how could we feel it our own cause? How do public affairs become private affairs?
We think that this is one of the end points of the matter of citizenship education in Hungary; and this is what violates individuals’ rights most to become competent citizens. If the school does not provide the eligible civic knowledge, it violates its citizens’ equality of opportunity in knowing the socio-political system and in practicing public affairs.
This minimum knowledge is able to provide a chance to advocacy and social convergence.
Main question: Do the 9th grade students in Pécs really know the subjects of the citizenship examination? Hypothesis: During the elementary school studies, 9th grade of young people from Pécs did not fully acquire the knowledge that the Hungarian state expects from its citizens as a minimum knowledge. (difference hypothesis) Independent variable: subject accountability, gender of students, type of topic (literature, geography, history, social knowledge), type of school Dependent variable: knowledge of the curriculum of the citizenship examination Further research questions and hypotheses: 1. Q: Are the methods and tools of the examination suitable for exploring the citizenship of the 9th and 11th grade students? H2: With the set of tasks, a reliable picture can be given to the civic knowledge of students of Grades 9th and 11th relative to citizenship examination topics. 2. Q: What is typical of the 9th and 11th grade students' civic knowledge? What specificities can be identified as students' civic knowledge? H3: Issues with significant differences between grades and high school types can be identified, but there are also issues that cannot be resolved according to age and training types. H4: The students participating in the study do not know much about social and political issues. Sample: cluster sample Research is divided 23 high schools of Pécs into three classes: faith-based grammar school, secular grammar school, secondary school. I randomly selected one, and one reserve each and every one. In the selected high schools, I used the questions of the citizenship examination as a test to assess the knowledge of 9th grade (n=228) and 11th grade students (n= 123): 28 open questions are about Hungarian culture, history, 28 open questions are about social and state knowledge.
Main question: Do the 9th grade students in Pécs really know the subjects of the citizenship examination? The research proved that an exam is calling for more than what the young people actually know. The curriculum of the citizenship examination is far more extensive than the Pécs secondary school students can know in these classes in grades 9 and 11. Hypothesis: During the elementary school studies, 9th grade of young people from Pécs did not fully acquire the knowledge that the Hungarian state expects from its citizens as a minimum knowledge. (difference hypothesis) The hypothesis is true. Further research questions and hypotheses: 1. Q: Are the methods and tools of the examination suitable for exploring the citizenship of the 9th and 11th grade students? We used a suitable method, but checking the answers to open-ended questions was difficult. Assessment of the solution has become so difficult. H2: With the set of tasks, a reliable picture can be given to the civic knowledge of students of Grades 9th and 11th relative to citizenship examination topics. The hypothesis is true. 2. Q: What is typical of the 9th and 11th grade students' civic knowledge? What specificities can be identified as students' civic knowledge? Students are much more familiar with Hungarian history and culture than state and social knowledge. H3: Issues with significant differences between grades and high school types can be identified. The hypothesis is not true. There is no significant difference. Similar results have been achieved everywhere. H4: Participated students do not know much about social and political issues. The hypothesis is true. Students are uninformed, no possession of adequate knowledge.
-Declaration on Promoting citizenship and the common values of freedom, tolerance and non-discrimination through education Paris, 17 March 2015 -Állampolgári nevelés Európában (2012) EACEA, http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/education/eurydice/documents/thematic_reports/139HU_HI.pdf -Kopper, Ákos (2010) Állampolgárság határon innen és túl, Beszélő Folyóirat, 15, 5 (May-June), 2010. -Ugróczky, Mária (2014) Alkotmányos alapismeretek, Segédanyag az állampolgársági vizsgára készülő nem magyar állampolgárok számára a 2012. január 1-én életbe lépett Alaptörvény szerint (Constitutional basics; Study material for non-Hungarian citizens preparing for citizenship exam, based on the Constitution valid of 1 January 2012), Kiadó: SL és Társa Bt., Telki,
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