Prof. Dr. Kéri Katalin

PTE BTK Neveléstudományi Intézet – a modernizált változata

War and the Child’s Psyche

Posted by ambrusa - 2014. július 26.

Kéri Katalin: War and the Child’s Psyche / La guerra y la psique del niño Szerző: Kéri Katalin
Cím: War and the Child’s Psyche / La guerra y la psique del niño
Megjelenés: Education, War & Peace International Standing Conference for the History of Education 36 (ISCHE), Institute of Education, University of London, 23-26 july 2014, London, Abstract Book, p. 169-171.
Licenc: © Kéri Katalin 2014 | Hungary 2.5 [CC BY-NC-ND 2.5]
Letöltés: [.pdf] [.rtf] [.txt] [.epub] [.mobi]
Identifier: Internet Archive

Spanish or Hungarian Spanish Hungarian

ABSTRACT: War and the Child’s Psyche — In Hungary a number of handbooks and novels were written on the horrors of World War I, on patriotism, on the education of the nation, and on soldierly courage: some of these had some pedagogical features, or were intended for children or youngsters. However, only a few books were published in which the author showed in what way children were affected by the war. This paper introduces one of these rare sources: László Nagy’s (1915) book – entitled The War and the Child’s Psyche –, which is important both from the point of view of child psychology and that of the history of education. This book can be of great interest not only for the Hungarian historians of education, but also for researchers from other countries.

In the winter of 1914-15, the Hungarian Society for Child Studies, under Nagy’s direction, carried out a wide-ranging questionnaire-based survey involving 120 Hungarian schools, examining what children think about the war, what they consider as good and bad about it, who they consider to be responsible for the onset of the war, what they consider to be the chief military virtue, and in general: how the war years affect them, what they are afraid of, what kind of fighting games they play. They collected data in two age groups: between 8-14-year-olds and 14-18-year olds – presenting both groups of informants with 8 strings of questions to be answered mainly in written format, and one with drawings. (For instance: Why is there a state of war now? How will it end? Why? Do you ever play at war? Write down how. Do you like the war? Why? Has the war changed your daily routine? How? Etc.)

In the course of our research we revealed the background of László Nagy’s examinations, the features and problems of the preparations and the data collection; we analysed the textual corpus of the volume, comparing it with other contemporary Hungarian sources, and we found and scrutinised the reviews and analyses of the volume written from the 1910s to the present day. Processing the data, Nagy examined how the war crisis affected children’s souls, how the changing of their ideas were related to the phases of their intellectual, emotional and moral development, and discussed what sort of tasks the recognition of children’s thoughts brings to the surface concerning moral and national education. The book – of which, unfortunately, only the first volume got completed – bears great significance not only from a child psychological point of view, but also contains several details that shed light on the contemporary Hungarian pedagogical and political thinking, and a number of characteristic properties of the questionnaire-based research methodology of the 1910-s can be highlighted with its help. Albeit the driving motivations behind the survey and the book reporting its results were solely child psychological and pedagogical, now, a hundred years later, they have become an important Hungarian source for the research of the history of education and childhood, and in a broader scope, of the history of World War I.



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