3. ANTECEDENTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES OF LAUNCHING THE BABE PROJECT
3.1. Higher education context of the research
The system innovation known as the Bologna process has triggered changes in Hungarian higher education, in terms of structure and content alike. In the background of the transition to two-cycle training there were causes and demands taking shape for a long time, such as (1) enhancing the competitiveness of the European region; (2) strengthening the relationship between education and the labour market; (3) managing a kind of re-channelling of the masses in higher education (KOZMA 1998, 2010); (4) encouraging European level mobility; and (5) tasks related to the programmes supporting the latter (especially through the establishment of the European Qualiﬁ cation Framework – EQF). As it was expressed by Ildikó Hrubos, the intention of the initiators was that higher education ﬁ nds its new social functions (HRUBOS 2000, 2010).
Today it is a well known fact that compared to other member states of the EU the reform process has been accompanied by more difﬁ culties in Hungary. Partly because the reform coincided with the radical increase of student numbers in higher education (which was an especially large-scale one in comparison with the period before the 1989-1990 political and economic transition), and partly because it also coincided with the structural and management changes following the 1989-1990 transition. In the 2000s, updating the contents took place as well, for example, curriculum development from European ﬁ nding (see HEFOP in 2005), which absorbed a considerable amount of intellectual resources and created a feeling of overcoming the difﬁ culties. On the one hand, the burden resulting from the increase in numbers was unequal and on the other hand, new higher educational institutions ‘drained’ the increase for a while. Thus, neither on
system, nor on institutional level was it typical that the problems which actually brought about the necessity of the Bologna process were directly faced. Due to this, and also to the speedy introduction, higher education was not ready to accept such a major change; the situation brought different reactions from different stakeholders. The objective of this study and the entire volume is to show the reaction of the Institute of Education at ELTE, where the BaBe research took place, and the ‘behaviour’ of a training programme from the time of introduction until present day. The concrete example of an organization can reveal the changes occurring in the different layers and also the less visible elements of the organizational culture, which contribute to the actual answers from depth. Following the functioning of a training programme demonstrates how it can react to new challenges, to expectations concerning the support of learning, and how the new learning management evolves in the intersection of plans and goals. Furthermore, the relationship between the two subjects, namely the training programme and the organization responsible for it is also revealed. The research-based monitoring of the process brought about the improved functioning of both the programme and the organization, and the learning of all participants.
3.2. The institution accepting the Bologna process
Any training programme can only come into existence in a given institutional environment and by adapting to the speciﬁ cities of the institution. The functioning, the opportunities and the limitations of the programme are all deﬁ ned by its environment. “Works of history of science oriented by the sociology of knowledge (e.g. SIMON 1977; STICHWEH 1984; 1990a; 1990b;
1993 – quoted by Németh 2001) see the institutionalization of a given discipline, the establishment of its independent university departments and its inclusion in the system of academic sciences taught at university as typical features of a modern branch of science.” (NÉMETH 2011: 213) In the nearly four hundred-year-long history of ELTE, the intellectual, science and organization history of education science was elaborated by András Németh (NÉMETH 1997, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005). To unfold the topic of the present study in a proper way, it is necessary to overview the history of the organization behind the examined higher education programme. This is so, because the history of the given science in the system of sciences and the history of the university department as an ‘institution’ in the institutional history of higher education provide a special environment to the higher education reform at the beginning of the 21st century.
Pedagogy, after its divergence from philosophy and theology, is still a relatively young science, whose ﬁ rst appearance dates back to the 19th century. Its organizational establishment at the Faculty of Humanities
took place according to the traditions of that time. Also, according to the traditions, the leaders of the programme were the most excellent scientists of the period. At the period before and after the 1989-1990 political and economic transition the location of the department changed several times, and its operation and the stabilization of organizational culture was further hindered by some structural mergers. The last moving brought about structural transformations again. Several organizational units were separated, and previously separate organizational units were united. The current position of the Institute of Education was established in the faculty structure of ELTE in 2003, under the umbrella of the Faculty of Education and Psychology.
With the 2005 completion of the process the number of the members of the Institute of Education tripled and a change in the management also took place.7
Drives for innovation (2002–2006)
Between 2002 and 2005 at the predecessor department of the Institute of Education a group of teachers began to show more and more interest in developing the quality of training (see Chapter 3). At this time they were dealing with large numbers and age groups within the framework of the teacher training programme, therefore many of them could sense its functional anomalies. Some of these teachers decided to take deﬁ nite steps and formed different self-organized ‘committees’, still at the time and headquarters of the former department. The activity there had community building and professional inﬂ uences on the participants. The results were born but the committees failed to capitalize on them, which was attributed by the group to
7 In the 20th century department heads were Ernô Fináczy (1901-1930), Lajos Prohászka (1937-1949), György Ágoston (1952-1959), and Sándor Nagy (1959-1981). Towards the end of the 20th century, under the management of József Szarka (1983-1990) the Department of Education moved from the Pesti Barnabás Street building to the Ajtósi Dürer Street building, and then from this place it was moved again under the leadership of István Bábosik (1990-1998 head of department, 1998-2005 director of institute) to Kazinczy Street. During the former relocation, the pedagogy departments of the Faculty of Humanities and the Faculty of Natural Sciences of ELTE were united under the umbrella of the Faculty of Humanities and carried out the teacher training tasks of the university as an integral organization from 1991. With the change of faculty structure at ELTE (2003) the Faculty of Education and Psychology formed its organizational structure in a two-year process. First from the Department of Education of the Faculty of Teacher Training which had been operating in the Kazinczy Street building, the Centre for Teaching Methodology was founded, which was then joined by the formerly independent Department of Cultural Management, whereas the School Psychology Group seceded and was incorporated in the Institute of Psychology. After this the Centre for Teaching Methodology was dissolved and its teachers were integrated in the organization coming from the Faculty of Humanities (2004), and the Institute of Education was established. Today its organizational setup is as follows: Department of Applied Educational Theory, Department of Andragogy, Department of Teaching Theory, Department of Education History, Institutional Centre for Higher Education and Professorat of Education Theory. The Institute of Education operates a doctoral school. The head of the Institute is Éva Szabolcs since 2005, who is also the leader of the Doctoral School since 2009; the number of the teaching staff is 43.
the rigid structure of the institution, the passivity of the management and the general disinterest in the results and in the efforts for improvement. Efforts for the more efﬁ cient operation of training programmes, stronger cooperation and quality education remained small group actions; the forms of quality control of trainings at the Department of Education Science had not taken shape, and the organizational traditions of the reﬂ ective management and development of training programmes were especially lacking. The changes occurring in the teachers’ way of thinking and communicational patterns got stuck at the level of organizational subculture and could hardly become an organic part on the level of the institution and its latent strategy.
The demand for change ﬁ nally manifested in 2005/06, owing to the acceleration of the Bologna process in Hungary, when a group of leading lecturers launched an unexpected development to elaborate the qualiﬁ cation requirements of teacher training and to compile the teacher competencies.
This was eventually summarized in an ELTE working paper and became one of the sources of the Ministry of Education decree (MoE Decree No.
15/2006) to be drafted later on. This top down development used the organizational capacity professionally, but did not have a tangible effect on the organization itself.
Immediate circumstances of the introduction of BA programmes (2006)
Academic year 2005/2006 was closed in the Institute of Education at its new location and with a new leader in a way that it was well aware of the transition to the Bologna system, but less informed about what this actually meant. As a training programme owner, the responsibility of the Institute ﬁ rst activated in connection with the training programme in Education, since here immediate decisions had to be made. Few people were aware of the fact that the training programme of the majors underwent considerable changes and that not only did the division of the former Education major take place, but a bachelor training programme was also created.
Teacher training also changed, but the new type of teacher training only gave teaching duties to the staff of the Institute of Education a year later.
Difﬁ culties were not smaller in that case either as the entire system was transformed conceptually (HUNYADY 2011), but the one year difference meant enough time for preparation.
In both cases, the “new” knowledge belonged to those who undertook the training programme development tasks, which were in both cases the people in charge of training programmes and others delegated in the consortium.
The consortial cooperation created the opportunity for synthesising the best knowledge elements in the level of the training programme; however, since it was not complemented by an implementation plan, the quality of
realization depended on the individual differences between the launchers of programmes, including the dissemination activity of the people in charge of the programmes in their delegating institute.
At the beginning of the academic year most of the teachers at the Institute of Education were working in the old, former training programme.
The new training structure and curriculum were little known by those assigned to courses in the new training programme. Those teaching at the BA programme could sense that the lack of knowledge concerns all parts of the teaching work from the objective of teaching to its evaluation: there was a vague picture of the character of the BA programme, the training and output requirements or other relevant documents of higher education were not well known. Teachers could see the future until the end of the semester, while students not even that long; uncertainty was prevalent. Teachers who got in contact with students could not give answers to questions related to the continuing of studies or to entering the world of work. Even so, these problems concerned only a few of the lecturers, so neither the lack of information, nor the hasty education management managed to reach the stimulus threshold of the teaching staff. However, the situation came about that many of the teachers with the previously mentioned group identity were
assigned courses at the BA training programme in Education, who were committed to improving the quality of teacher training and open to the new forms of teacher support to students. The newly appointed head of the Institute of Education channelled the problem sensitivity into an institutional research, which became the BaBe research.
The BaBe research and the introduction of teacher training In 2006, parallel tasks emerged: (1) to see off the students of the former training programmes; (2) to introduce BA programmes; (3) to prepare the introduction of the master programmes; (4) to prepare and launch bachelor and master specialization tiers. While before 2006 only two training programmes were delivered, between 2006 and 2010 seven new programmes were launched: two BA, and two specializations within them, 2 MA, and three specializations within them, three teacher programmes and three modules (Leisure organizer, Child and youth protection, pedagogy teacher. These tasks occupied incredible organizational and intellectual capacity in every new semester: new courses, new learning management, new exams. The timing and operation of the training programmes is summarized in Table 1.
Table 1: Different training programmes at the Institute of Education of ELTE between 2006 and 2011
2007/2008 old new new old new
2008/2009 old new ceased new old new new new
2009/2010 old new new new old new new new
2010/2011 new new new old new new new
2011/2012 renewed new new old new new
The new tasks emerged parallel to the expansion of higher education. To the BA training programme in Education an annual 50 people were accepted from 2006, and a similar number were accepted to the MA programme in Education Science, while the number of teacher trainees remained at several hundred on a yearly basis in both full time and part time training. On the latter, in the 2006/2007 academic year there were informational events
organized for the teachers at some faculties and institutes: in addition to familiarizing them with the training structure, the content of the training was also introduced and analyzed, teachers of pedagogy and psychology courses participated at common meetings, and discussions with the colleagues teaching subject methodology were also started. The Faculty held several conferences as well on the training structure of the Bologna process.
The BaBe research team encountered the students and their doubts in the BA phase of teacher training. From time to time, aspects and efforts of the research on the BA training programme in Education ﬂ owed to the considerations on teacher training, including the analysis of the situation.
We investigated the informedness of students enrolling in BA courses required for the MA teacher training programme about their studies, their considerations about the choice of profession and institution and the set of their pedagogical attitudes in two consecutive years. As part of the BaBe research, we examined how much the bachelor programme provides a foundation for the courses at the master programme. This part of the research is not dealt with in the present collection of studies.