Past and present of social science education in Hungary


  • Katinka Dancs University of Szeged
  • Márta Fülöp



Purpose: We intent to provide a comprehensive picture of Hungarian social science education, to review the constituents of social science literacy, a systematic analysis of the curriculum and its changes since 1989 and of the available research in this field.

Design/methodology/approach: The findings are based on the analysis of educational documents (e. g. curricula) and the review of the research publications in the field.

Findings: Social science education is cross-curricular in Hungary. Among the different knowledge fields history has a decisive and dominant role. Other social science topics are mostly abandoned in everyday teaching practice. There is a growing centralization of the educational arena (e.g. government approved limited number of textbooks) and a growing emphasis on national identity and patriotism and a decreasing emphasis on Europe. The cross-curricular nature of social science education would require well trained teachers who are able to think critically and in a complex way themselves, however teacher training and classroom practice also support the hegemony of history teaching.