Introduction of the Research Group for Historical, Theoretical and Comparative Education

Introduction of the Research Group for Historical, Theoretical and Comparative Education

The operation of the Research Group for Historical, Theoretical and Comparative Education primarily focuses on the researches relating to the science of education. These research programs are based on theoretical-historical and comparative approach. Additionally, colleagues in the workshops of the research group conduct several other research topics related to the aforementioned research direction. 

These research topics can be divided into three research directions. The first one is the research of the history of science of education, in which researchers use methods related to historical sociology and empirical data analysis. By using these methodological approaches, researches can investigate collective biography and bibliographical databases and they are also able to conduct content analysis of representative pedagogical journals and other types of pedagogical publications. Within this research direction, the research team used text mining analysis for the first time in the history of Hungarian science of education. The text mining (or text analysis) enables researchers to analyse digitally accessible text corpuses without the need of sampling. Since the middle of the 1990s, the National Scientific Research Found has been continuously aiding our research programs, which operates on the basis of wide national and international cooperation. Within the frames of different research projects, researchers investigated the history of science of education from the middle of the 19th century to the first decades of the 20th century.

The second research direction is the comparative and historical analysis of the theory of professionalization, in which we explore and compare the main trends of emergence of pedagogue professions. By using quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, researchers are strive to investigate the emergence of primary and secondary teacher professions and their separation from each other from the second half of the 18th century till 1945. Moreover, researchers also put this research topic into European context, thus they compare the Hungarian processes with other international development trends. The comparative investigation is conducted by a wide international cooperation. In 2017, on the basis of this international cooperation we submitted the international research proposal with the title of Teacher Training in Central Europa including Czech, Slovak, Polish and Hungarian participants.

The third research direction of the research group is the history of alternative schooling, reform pedagogical methodologies and life reform movements. Within this research direction, researchers use the methods of hermeneutic document analysis and social network analysis. By using these methods, one can explore the emerging alternative movements against the social structure of industrial societies and nation state education policies in the 19th century. Connections between these alternative groups are also part of this research direction. Grasping the complex unity of the viewpoints of pedagogy, culture and history of sociology, can be perceived as a mere new innovation in the international academic context. This approach is relating to those German, English and North American research topics, which had social historical orientation and aimed to explore the increasingly dynamic movements opposing modernisation in the 19th century. Art groups and intellectual-philosophical trends also had characteristic civilisation critic stand in the examined period.

Fulfilling the research projects and disseminating the results of projects are supported by the continuous aiding of international and Hungarian research founds (NRSF, NRDIB, AÖU, TÁMOP). Thus, members of the research group are keen to publish in Hungarian and international journals relating to their specific subject. Peculiar form of the dissemination of research results is the exhibition (Rejtett történetek [Hidden stories]) in the Műcsarnok between late 2018 and early months of 2019. The exhibition complies with two main tasks. The first is the scientific dissemination of the results for the benefit of the public. The second is the unique form of providing a place for scientific discourses by exhibition guides for fellow-researchers and providing a place for international scientific conferences.

Besides research activities, members of the research groups give lectures in several areas of training fields. They hold courses in teacher training, in level of BA, MA and PhD-programme in the training of science of education and museum pedagogy training. During the activities of planning the courses or giving lectures, our colleagues are strive to share the results of their research activities in that cases where the curriculum of the courses make it possible. By doing so, they comply with the idea of university focusing on research activities.