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Though the concept of citizenship grounded in activity, responsibility and democratic values is emphasized in Hungarian educational policy, the views and opinions of the younger generation in Hungary are, it appears, changing in a direction not conducive to bolstering active citizenship.For this reason the Kurt Lewin Foundation constructed a research and educational project which comprised on the one hand an endeavour to enhance active citizenship by means of various developmental activities and on the other hand data collection around the issue of active citizenship.Through our research we found that teachers—for many different reasons—avoid discussing social and political issues.
Active citizenship means people getting involved in their local communities and democracy at all levels, from towns to cities to nationwide activity.
Active citizenship can be as small as a campaign to clean up your street or as big as educating young people about democratic values, skills and participation.
Students aged between 17 and 19 years old (11th–12th grade) and their teachers took part in the research which examined the place and impact of active citizenship, democratic values and social and political attitudes in education.
The report aimed to study the effect of the school as a place to develop the active citizenship of students.
Students prefer a less democratic, stronger-handed, more authoritarian approach.
They are not interested in any of the political parties.
Active citizenship has a crucial role to play in this context to allow citizens to interrogate real solutions to problems rather than indulging in scapegoating, discrimination and other tactics peddled by extremists.
We focused on the effect that organizational culture in schools and the (a set of rules, norms, attitudes and behaviors that are not part of the national curriculum but students learn as a kind of side-effect of the schooling through living and learning in the community/institution) have on the students’ active citizenship.
Regarding minorities, the students did not express a high level of solidarity.
They are disillusioned with politics, democracy and social issues.