Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Yes, I've heard apparently contradictory things regarding this. Some people have said that the maths at 16 years in the UK is like the maths at 14 years in Hungary. I've also heard of people starting school in Hungary, transferring to the UK, and then going back into the system in Hungary. I'm sure this a wrenching experience, and in this particular case, they complained bitterly at the rigidity and monotony of the Hungarian teaching methodology, by comparison to the project-based, student-centred approach of much primary education in the UK (which has incidentally incorporated certain aspects of the Wardorf-Steiner approach).

What we do know in terms of comparison is from the OECD's PISA ratings at 14 and 16 years, crude as they are. These show Hungary as generally average or below-average on all subjects, with no great advantage in either maths or science. I had a memorable conversation with someone once who was adamant that this was due to the inclusion of Roma children... there goes Greater Hungary...

I can well believe that Hungarian education starts off as excellent at kindergarten, is actually quite good at primary level up to 10, and then rapidly tails off for many (most?) students afterwards, in a sea of repetition, lack of depth, autodidact teaching and absence of genuine rigour. By the time they are 15 or 16 many students are disillusioned and unchallenged. As an ex-teacher I would have to concede that the introduction of school inspectors by the Hoffmann-Orban act is not something I find intrinsically offensive, as long as it is used to help the teacher develop. Oh, and fraud is absolutely endemic, with a thriving black market in false exams and third-party essays.

by car05 on Mon Mar 19th, 2012 at 10:40:00 AM EST
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