A Forgotten Moment in Education Policy A Hungarian-Swedish Case Study from the Early 1970s

  • Tamás Kozma
  • Zoltán Tőzsér
Keywords: Central and Eastern Europe, Educational reform, IEA, Torsten Husén, Zoltán Bathory


After the brutal uprising of 1956, there was a decade of gradual reform in Hungary under the Kadar regime. As part of this decade of reform, Hungary received permission to join the IEA (International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievements), an organisation that had been established in the late 1950s by the well known Swedish educator and researcher Torsten Husén, who played an intermediary role in education policy between the West and the East. One step in fulfilling this role was his initiation a summer school under the umbrella of the IEA in the Swedish resort area of Graenna. The Hungarians were the
only delegates from behind the Iron Curtain to participate. For them, it was a unique experience to view the centralised Swedish welfare state with contributions of American liberal democracy and education. This summer school of 1971 has since been forgotten, yet most of the initiatives of education policy after the political turn of 1989/90 have their roots there. This is especially true of the work and career of the well known Hungarian educator and a follower of Husén, the late Zoltán Bathory.


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