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I warmly welcome all those who are interested in our institution.
Besides training programmes for church staff Apor Vilmos Catholic College offers programmes mainly in the field of teacher education. Our institution is open to non-Catholic or non-religious students, too, but the representation and transmission of Catholic values is present throughout the training spectrum of every program we offer.
Apor Vilmos Catholic College is hosted in the impressive building of a one-time seminary in Vác, a town half-an-hour ride north of Budapest. It has been the college’s headquarters since 2004, offering the pleasant environment of a restored, listed building in one of the most beautiful squares in Vác, in the proximity of the Assumption Cathedral.
The growing need for part-time and postgraduate courses necessitated expansion, and to our delight a modern campus was opened recently in Budapest in the building of an old school. The renewed building is fully barrier-free, excellently equipped to meet the 21st-century demands of education and various organized events. With the continuous widening of the training spectrum we can launch here new programmes and new training forms alongside the postgraduate courses. As the conditions are outstanding, and we have a dedicated teaching and ancillary staff to meet the demands, there is no obstacle to the implementation of great plans and dreams.
Young professionals with AVCC degree can easily find employment. We plan to launch further BA and MA programmes adapted to modern needs ensuring a wider choice to all those who wish to study in a familiar ambient and in a genuine fellowship of students. Our international relations provide a wide range of opportunities for pursuing studies or internship abroad. There is a steadily increasing number of postgraduate courses for teacher colleagues to select from.
In addition to education, various research activities are carried out at our school. Conferences organized by AVCC, often at an international level, our periodicals: Katolikus Pedagógia [Catholic Pedagogy], Szociálpedagógia [Social Pedagogy], Anyanyelvi és Irodalmi Nevelés [Teaching Hungarian] offer a great opportunity for sharing scientific results. Most of our lecturers hold a PhD degree or have enrolled to a doctoral course. Research groups – also open to our students – examine the different branches of science.
As a leader I am convinced that we can make progress by building on and making use of earlier achievements. We must learn from the mistakes in order to develop a college as a community of people who help each other and work for a common goal.
We look forward to welcoming all who are interested
Józsefné Libor, PhD
Apor Vilmos Catholic College offers training programs in Hungarian language on two campuses located in Vác and in Budapest. In Vác BA, MA and postgraduate courses are offered. Training fields encompass BA programmes in teacher education, social science, religious studies and MA programmes in educational science and social pedagogy, mental health and community development. Besides the up-to-date theroretical knowledge, the BA programmes of Infant and Early Childhood Education, Pre- and Primary School Teacher Training and Social Pedagogy provide practice-oriented training to prepare students for their prospective vocation and for the requirements of the labour market.
The 2-year Educational Science MA programme prepares students for educational research and governance in public and higher education and education management. The Social Pedagogy MA programme targets at the imporvement of the circumstances of disadvantaged children and youth and their families. The Expert in Mental Health and Communitiy Development MA programme is aimed to train professionals who will develop and lead supportive and protective communities in the different fields of society.
Religious studies programs (Chorister and Catechist-Pastoral Assistance) deepen the students’ vocational commitment by the transmission of solid professional knowledge and Christian values.
AVCC offers a range of postgraduate courses in Budapest and Vác providing an opportunity for all those who want to deepen their knowledge or want to learn something new. These courses include postgraduate specialist training courses, course supplementing specializations and accredited postgraduate courses for teachers.
AVCC is planning to launch a variety of vocational training courses in the fields of pedagogy and social care in Budapest. Those who have successfully accomplished a vocational course will have the opportunity to deepen their knowledge in the related BA programmes of the college.
AVCC also offers a Part-time Training Program in Early Childhood Education ( BA) in English language. In Hungary we are the first to offer a BA training program in Early Childhood Education in English. This degree entitles the holder to fulfil positions at preschools with an English language programme (for example, bilingual and international preschools), and also provides an opportunity for students to acquire a proficiency (C1) level knowledge of English.
History. The Swiss Ingenbohl-based Sisters of Mercy of the Holy Cross established themselves in Hungary in 1865. Their first novitiate was founded in Zsámbék, a village 30 kilometres west of Budapest, in 1901.
In 1904 the order got a derelict building from the municipality for educational purposes. They undertook the task of renovation and founded a Roman Catholic girls’ school and a kindergarten, where the language of education was Hungarian. The higher elementary girls’ school opened in 1905. In the years 1921-25 the sisters also ran a higher elementary school for boys. The scope of education widened continuously, and in 1929 a teacher training institute was started.
The sisters turned the Baroque building of the one-time Zichy mansion into one of the most modern, best equipped teacher training institutes of the country. Not only did they rebuild the ramshackle mansion but also extended it with new wings, more storeys and bought additional buildings, gardens, a park, a lake and some land.
The first graduation ceremony took place in 1934.
In 1938-39 the sisters opened a lyceum and on a newly acquired land they had a playground and a tennis court built.
On 30 June 1948 the teacher training institute and the lyceum was brought under state control, its equipment was taken away and given to other, state owned teacher training institutes.
In 1948 the process of teacher training in Zsámbék was broken.
In September 1977, in order to reduce a teacher shortage of long years, the Minister of Education gave permission for the establishment of an affiliated department of the Esztergom Teacher Training College in Zsámbék. The firs academic year was started with 78 students and 10 teachers. The institute developed year by year, and soon there was a new, 16-classroom school built in Zsámbék, which complied with the contemporary requirements of practical training.
From 1 September 1983 the institute could perform its activity as an independent college called the Zsámbék Teacher Training College. It trained primary school and kindergarten teachers.
The third period began on 1 July 1993, when the College was taken back by the Catholic Church in Hungary. The properties were returned to the previous owners, the Sisters of the Holy Cross. Management duties were undertaken by the Székesfehérvár Diocese. As a further stage of development, five new departments were established between 1992-94 in addition to the already existing seven.
At that time the number of students attending primary school and kindergarten teacher training, the newly started social pedagogy training, the religious and postgraduate courses was nearly 1000.
The ever-increasing number of the students of teacher training required a continuous development of the system of practical training. In 1993 the college management decided to establish a practice school of its own the first year of which started on 1 September 1995. Later on, two more church-owned primary and secondary schools became the practice schools of the College.
From the mid-1990’s kindergarten teacher training played an increasingly important role. To establish a practice kindergarten was a pressing necessity, as the Zsámbék local kindergarten was not able to see to the growing needs. This plan was only realized in 2001 when a Budapest kindergarten was taken over by the College.
In the year 2000 the College was named after the martyr bishop Vilmos Apor. So, the College is now called Apor Vilmos Catholic College.
August 2004 brought a dramatic turn in the life of the College. The roof of the building caught fire and more than 50% of it burnt down. Because of this extensive damage the school could not be run any longer in Zsámbék.
The College moved to Vác, a town 25 kilometres north of Budapest, where buildings of suitable size were provided.
The year 2017 saw a great development: the inauguration of the new Budapest campus where part-time and postgraduate training is offered with cutting-edge equipment for the professionals of education of the 21st century.
The objective of the programme is to train professionals who are capable of and dedicated to educating children of 3-7 years of age, after acquiring profound theoretical knowledge, competencies and skills. Students choosing an ethnic minority specialization are also trained to educate children both in Hungarian language and in the language of the ethnic minority, to develop the identity and transmit the culture of the ethnic minority in an age-appropriate way.
LOWER PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHER
The objective of the programme is to train teachers for 1st through 6th grade children who develop children’s personalities – according to the changing societal demands and the purposes of primary education – in a complex way. Students are trained to teach in all content areas in grades 1 – 4, and to teach in a chosen content area for grades 1 – 6. Students with an ethnic minority specialization are trained to teach in all content areas in grades 1 – 4, and to teach the language and culture of the ethnic minority for grades 1 – 6.
The objective of the programme is to train professionals who are capable of working in institutions that help educational and social services; handle the learning, social and mental problems of children, young people and their families in a complex way; maintain, restore and develop a balance of the child, the young person and their environment. The practice-oriented training includes visits to institutions, intership and a 360-hour field practice.
INFANT AND EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION
The objective of the programme is to train infant and early childhood educators who provide for the care and education of children from birth to age 3. Graduates gain comprehensive knowledge of the early childhood care system, have the competence, autonomy and responsibility to perform the tasks of their profession.
CATECHIST – PASTORAL ASSISTANT
The programme aims at training catechists and pastoral assistants to perform preaching and pastoral activities. According to their specialization they either teach catechism to children, youth and adults, take part in the work of evangelisation, or they guide communities, lead or perform certain liturgical events, charity or cultural activities.
The objective of the programme is to train professionals who conduct the music service of the church and can convey the biblical message in song and music. It provides the theoretical and practical skills which enable the students to lead activities of the church congregation of different ages.
The objective of training is to prepare students for educational research and practical work in the public and higher education and in organizations; to design and evaluate learning programmes in schools; to participate in educational research and development, and to communicate the Hungarian achievements in educational science on national and international platforms. The programme prepares students to pursue doctoral studies in Educational Science.
The aim of the programme is to train professionals who give help using their theoretical knowledge about the functioning and the dysfunctions of the society, about interpersonal relationships, deviances, groups of special needs, about the education, development and professional assistance in a public educational, societal, child welfare, and child protection setting; who improve the circumstances of disadvantaged children, youth and their families. It prepares students for individual or team research, for the educational, decision-making, governing, planning and organizing duties in the areas of social pedagogy. Graduates of the programme can pursue doctoral studies in social pedagogy.
EXPERT IN MENTAL HEALTH IN RELATIONS AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
The programme aims at training experts in mental health in relations and community development who contribute to the management and alleviation of social problems and to the strenthening of local society; who are able to build, develop and lead fostering, supportive and protective communities or community networks in a settlement, at a workplace, in the civil society, in a church or a denomination.
|Department||Head of Department|
|Department of Church Music and Arts||Dr. Kriszta Köncse
|Department of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Informatics||Dr. Józsefné Libor PHD
|Department of Education, Psychology and Sport||Dr. Krisztina Molnár
|Department of Religious Studies, Social Sciences and Romology||Dr. Nikoletta Csürkéné Mándi
|Department of Language and Literature||Dr. Ágnes Streitmann
|Unit||Head of Unit|
|Rector’s Office||Dr Emese Erős|
|Office of International Relations||Anna Megyeriné dr Runyó|
|Office of Student Services||Richárd Gőz|
|Finance Department||Imre Kucsera|
Apor Vilmos Catholic College maintains two dormitories for the students of the college and for guest students who come to visit Vác. The Central Dormitory (Központi Kollégium) is in the main building of the college and Szent József Dormitory is a few minutes’ walk from the main building. This dorm gives home to most of the events organised by the Students’ Union. Here one can find three sports fields and fire rings in the backyard. The dorm also has an inner courtyard, where students can gather for a friendly chat.
Contact the Students’ Union on Facebook!
Events during the academic year
Freshman Camp: Each year, at the end of August the Students’ Union organises a four-day camp where freshmen can meet their fellow students and can have fun. The Students’ Union always makes colorful programs for the new students.
This event is offered to the new students of the college. The ball has a program plan, which includes an opening dance, a raffle, a talent show and concerts.
This event is usually held in April. It includes a lot of different and exciting programs, such as escape room, quiz about our college and our teachers, theatre play, slam poetry, concerts, test driving, football and volleyball.
The college organises international weeks focusing on a certain topic. The Hungarian students also take part in these programs.
At the end of each semester the graduating students receive their diplomas in a solemn ceremony.
|Programs during the semester:|
Film club, as long as the weather permits: grill party, pancake afternoon, Karaoke party, Christmas party, Soccer Cup.
In the spring term of the academic year of 2018-19 we launched our first International Erasmus + Semester at AVCC. We had five pre- and primary school teacher trainees from Ghent University. They were offered the following modules:
- Developing Intercultural Competences
- Storytelling and Drama
- Hungarian Culture and Eucation
- School Experience
Developing Intercultural Competences
In the general multicultural environment Europe and the world is facing, intercultural dialogue is of cardinal importance. It is important to develop cross-cultural empathy and behavioural flexibility. And it is always interesting to learn about each other’s customs, social behaviour and conventional norms.
The course included visits to Budapest (Heroes’ Square, National Gallery), Révkomárom (Slovakia) and Csörög. Students also had the chance to attend guest lectures on intercultural dialogue and critical thinking. The project work focussed on culture shock and role models.
Meeting Hungarian students of English language and literature and their Head of Department, Andrea Puskás, at Selye János University, Révkomárom (Komarno, Slovakia)
Ice-breakers always come in handy… (Selye János University)
At Europe Place in Révkomárom
A visit to Csörög School for Children with Special Needs
At the school thirty children are taught by 4 permanent co-workers and 21 teenage volunteers
Developing basic competences is part of the complex personality development
Besides teaching, the school aims at helping socalization, career building, transmission of culture and community development
Storytelling and Drama
During the course students were taught to use different planning and analysis tools to discover the structure and the plot of stories, to be able to tell stories in an attractive and creative way. Visual prompts and accompanying actions make the story more memorable. The three key skills to storymaking were also taught. Project work included a preparation for a workshop at the International Week.
Storytelling and Drama – How to tell stories in a creative and attractive way?
Storytelling and Drama – preparing a Kamishibai theatre
Almost ready …
Project work: preparation for the International Week
Storytelling and Drama – Workshop at the International Week:
“Green Peter” – Kamishibai, Shadow Play performances and story innovation in groups led by Erasmus students
The Shadow Play
Fun and team-building: making a story-map at the International Week workshop
Hungarian Culture and Education
The course aimed at giving a comprehensive picture of Hungarian life, broadening the student’s perspective and developing intercultural competences in a colourful, experience-based way. It included sightseeings in Vác and Budapest, visits to the National Museum (The History of Hungary), the National Theatre, to PIM Museum (Puppets and Tales), the Great Market Hall in Budapest, a Carnival at Újlaki Primary School (Budapest), and students tried Hungarian folk dance at Fonó, a Hungarian folk dance club. For the students’ special request arts and crafts activities were also included.
Dancing “gyimesi” at Fonó
As a project activity, students wrote blogs about their experience in Hungary, here are some passages:
We like Vác a lot because it has a certain charm. In the winter there were not a lot of people here but when Spring arrived, the town was blooming. There were tourists everywhere and everybody was enjoying the sun. The Danube runs through this little town, you can walk along this big river and enjoy the pretty view. What’s so spectacular about Vác is the architecture, the squares are very nice and there are a lot of beautiful churches.
The dorm was located nearby an impressive cathedral. If you walk around you see colorful houses, a lot of museums and bakeries and beautiful nature. A 5-minute walk from our school and you could wander next to the Danube. In summer you could take the boat to Budapest! Sadly, we had to take the train to go there but it is only 30 minutes away!
Typical Hungarian meals are the chimney (that you can easily find in the streets of Budapest), Goulash soup, lángos, paprika chicken, Túro Rudi… They also have certain drinks that are remarkable like Palinka, Unicum, Fröccs,.. Some of them we like, others we dislike.
When you’re in Hungary you have to adjust to certain things. For us the biggest problem was money, we use Euro but in Hungary they use Forint. The prices of the food are cheap but the prices of the clothes are similar. Daily life in Hungary is cheap for Western-Europeans. We have to take the train to Budapest very often, a train ticket for students is about €1, it’s about 30 minutes on the train. In Belgium the trains are much more expensive, for the same route it’s at least €5.
We learned that Hungarian is one of the hardest languages to learn. The alphabet has way more letters than ours. We learned some words, like: asztal (table), baba (baby), cica (cat), doboz (doos), fa (boom), kutya (dog), lámpa (lamp), mama, óra (uur), zokni (sok), zsák (zak)… We also learned a short sentence: én Belga diák vagyok (I am a Belgium student). We also tried to learn the numbers, but they were too difficult.
In Budapest there was a lot to see for us. The Danube splits the city in two parts, the Buda and the Pest side. Let us start with the Buda side. When you climb up the hill there is the most beautiful view over the city. You can also go by bus or take the funicular. There you can also find The National Gallery. Inside there are a lot of beautiful art pieces, almost all of them are paintings. We really liked the stunning landscapes, for example The Poppy Field by Pal Merse Szinyei. In the lessons we learned some bits about the Hungarian art and painters. A Lanchid alapkoletetele by Miklos Barabas is also a very famous one. The longer you look at it the more interesting this piece becomes.
We went to a national museum with paintings. There we saw a lot of beautiful paintings by famous Hungarian painters. In the museum there were a lot of dark paintings, but we learned that they were painted with tar and that’s why they get darker over the years. What we remember the most is the painting by Anna Margit (Fisherman) because we had to make our own version of the painting.
After we discovered Budapest several times, we wanted to see more of the country. So we started traveling, first we went to Szentendre. The small city, on the banks on the Danube. Without knowing we ended up at the annual Szentendre carnival party. Which meant loads of food trucks, and especially a lot of tourists. Despite the big amount of tourists, we enjoyed it. The colorful houses, and picturesque streets and – shops were worth it. When we planned on leaving, we even got to see a performance on the main square. There on a stage, a group of people was telling a story. Which was in Hungarian, so we could not understand it. However we could deduce it was a folktale, many parents knew the text by heart and we could hear a lot of repetition. Once again an example of the folk tale culture that lives in Hungary.
We had the luck to experience the national holiday (15th of March). Something new was celebrating the name days. They celebrate Catholic holidays in a very traditional way. For example on Easter Monday the boys sprinkle the girls with perfume or cold water, in return they get a beautiful painted egg. They eat traditional dishes on the holidays. Hungary has a similar version of Sinterklaas, here he’s called Mikulás.
Something we found remarkable in Hungary are the typical dogs. They have very long hair and they look a bit funny. When we went to the zoo, we also saw a pig with sheep wool, that was very strange.
In a nutshell, we learned a lot about the Hungarian culture, but in that way, also a lot about our own culture. It was worth the effort to follow these lessons, because they helped us to understand the daily Hungarian life more.
… we learned a lot about the Hungarian culture. By visiting, learning, reading or hearing about it. So we understand better why in Hungary certain choices were made in the past, and are even made today. Furthermore we will never forget this enriching experience, and recommend it to anyone.
After seeing so many portraits at the National Gallery, students decided to draw one
’Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist …’ (O. Wilde)
The module included lesson observations and teaching practice at pre- or primary schools.
Different institutions were visited during the course: international, bilingual and average Hungarian (pre)schools. Here follows a short account about the school experience:
In Budapest we went to 5 different schools and later in the Erasmus program we taught there. There are a lot of similarities and differences with the education system in Belgium. The lessons in Hungary are shorter than in Belgium, they last 45 minutes, in some schools they can eat breakfast because school starts very early; they have 15 minute breaks after every lesson.
We liked the teaching very much and we learned a lot of new things like using a lot of games and they give a lot of positive feedback.
The primary teacher students were even shown on the local television channel…
The pre-school teacher students did a colourful circle time in Habakukk Kindergarten about how the flowers grow.
Pupils of neighbouring Karolina Primary School performing Sebastian the Dragon Slayer at the International Week
Sebastian the Dragon Slayer
Developing Intercultural Competences
This comprehensive course aims at facilitating effective international communication, which enables students to cooperate with students from other countries or of different cultures.
In the general multicultural environment Europe and the world is facing, intercultural dialogue is of cardinal importance. It is important to develop cross-cultural empathy and behavioural flexibility. And it is always interesting to learn about each other’s customs, social behaviour, and conventional norms.
The course will focus on
- participation in international projects
- communication in an international setting
- sharing international experience
- comparison of educational systems
- project activities comprising minority issues in Hungary from a pedagogical perspective
- comparing special pedagogical programmes for pre/primary school children with learning disabilities and disorders/special needs/ disadvantaged background.
Storytelling and Drama
During the course students will be taught to use different planning and analysis tools to discover the structure and the plot of stories, to be able to tell stories in an attractive and creative way. Visual prompts and accompanying actions make the story more memorable. Students will also be taught the three key skills to storymaking.
The following areas will be covered:
- the use of story maps, story flowcharts, story mountains
- the Kamishibai theatre storytelling technique
- different visual reminders which help to tell a story
- actions that accompany the story
- a kinaesthetic reminder to make a story more memorable
- imitation, innovation and invention
The stories will also be presented through the tools of drama. Humans’ ability to play is one of those wonderful universal skills through which people can connect with each other, release stress, and understand themselves and the surrounding world better. You need no language to play, so it bridges the gap between different nationalities. At the same time, different people have their own unique social and cultural makeup which is worth the exploration. Drama is an excellent way to celebrate our differences, and to enhance sensitivity and empathy towards each other.
This course offers would-be teachers and social workers an opportunity to explore the possibilities of verbal and non-verbal communication through drama. During the course, we are going to try out different games that students can use in their diverse professional fields. These games can improve creativity, help intercultural dialogue, create more energy, enhance concentration, and cause a lot of fun – just to mention a few benefits.
The games are going to focus on the following areas:
- warm-up and cool-down games
- working with body and voice
- getting to know each other
- concentration games
- trust games
- developing a character
- working with imagination
Second Language and Integration Programmes at Bilingual and International Pre/Primary Schools
During the course students will become familiar with the essential theoretical knowledge, pedagogical applications and practical language skills needed in teaching a second language to young learners in bilingual and international pre/primary schools. They will learn about the physiological and psychological factors enabling early bilingualism and multilingualism and about the language teaching approaches based on the distinction between language acquisition and language learning. Participants in this course become familiar with different educational programmes and fundamental organizational issues in bilingual and international pre/primary schools, and will be able to plan and comment on the early foreign language acquisition part of the educational programme.
Students will be acquainted with different ways of communication, interaction helping pre/primary school children of different cultural background integrate into the everyday life of the school and the community. They will learn about the educational partnership between teachers, day care workers and parents, which aims at promoting a child’s balanced growth, development and learning in international educational institutions.
Hungarian Culture and Education
The course aims at giving a comprehensive picture of Hungarian life, broadening the student’s perspective and developing intercultural competences in a creative, colourful, experience-based way. Topics:
- Hungary. Past and present
- Youth and family policy
- Education system. Some important pedagogical, developmental methods
- Art through creative activities
- Experience Hungary – Basics of Hungarian language. Traditions, customs
- Experience Hungary – World heritage sites. Spas. Hungaricums. Cuisine
- Hands-on experience by creative activities, arts and crafts, folk dances etc.
English for Academic Purposes
The aim of the course is to introduce students to a variety of skills necessary for academic level communication from essay writing to presentation skills. By the end of the course they will be able to present their views and ideas with confidence both orally and in writing. The following topics will be covered:
- Academic vocabulary
- How to write an argumentative essay
- How to give a presentation
- Research skills
- How to write an academic essay
Lesson observations and teaching practice at primary or preschools
INTERNATIONAL TALE PROJECT WEEK
8-12 April 2019
At the topic-based International Week supported by the National Talent Programme 14 international students and 5 international lecturers took part together with a number of AVCC students and lecturers.
The most popular activities of the Week were two student workshops: on Monday the Belgian students of the Erasmus+ Semester gave a Kamishibai (paper theatre) and a shadow play show of the folktale Green Peter, then they led a group-work of story-innovation workshop.
The Tuesday student workshop led by the English and Hungarian participants of the Winchester Tale Project dealt with a local legend from the Southampton region, and the international students used different exciting story-telling and drama techniques.
The presentation of the two English colleagues from the University of Winchester entitled Teaching Children’s Literature in English Primary Schools also made a great impression. It was followed by an interactive group-work.
The enjoyable workshop Body &Voice led by the Belgian drama pedagogue from Thomas More University, which was accompanied by a lot of movements, was one of the most popular programmes during the week.
The Spanish colleague from the Catholic University of Valencia gave a challenging presentation on the gender stereotypes in folk tales, which was followed by a passionate discussion in groups.
The presentations of the two Hungarian guest lecturers were inspiring as well. Csilla Fuszek, the Hungarian representative of the European Talent Support Network talked about national and international experiences.
The presentation of Eszter Szoboszlay from Kecskemét Film Studio How to Make an Animated Film also contained a lot of interesting information for the audience. The animated cartoon series Gipsy Folktales were a unique experience both for the Hungarian and the international students.
The international students gained insight into two Hungarian primary schools’ pedagogical work: At the bilingual Bajza Utca Primary School in Budapest they took part in English language lessons, at Karolina Catholic Primary School in Vác they led project activities with primary school children on folk tales.
The beauty of Vác, the closeness of Budapest and last but not least, the high-quality training programmes of our institution – which we presented to our international guests – proved to be greatly attractive. Quite a few students said that they would gladly return to our international programmes, projects, and also the colleagues from abroad expressed their willingness to continue cooperation in the future.
International Week 2018
International Week 2016
International Week 2015
Talent Support through English and Hungarian Folk Tale Tradition
Talent promotion aims at not only the few gifted, it can be beneficial for all children and youth. All of them possess potential that can be developed. The development of resources in young people is intertwined with supporting interaction, self-confidence, and self-monitoring skills, social and emotional competence, communication skills, persuasive power and, last but not least, with developing one of the so-called key competences – intercultural competence.
There are skills, competences and resources and there are several ways to develop these in order to promote talent successfully. One way is to bring together the students of two teacher training institutes from different countries. Students can work together to collaborate in research, to learn about each other’s culture, to share their knowledge and finally to meet personally when visiting each other’s institutions.
This is exactly what two teacher training institutes – The University of Winchester from England and Apor Vilmos Catholic College from Hungary – decided to do by launching a joint project based on English and Hungarian folktale traditions.
The project began at a meeting of the Comenius Association in 2015. Two lecturers, Agnes Streitmann (Apor Vilmos Catholic College) and Jonathan Rooke (University of Winchester) with a shared enthusiasm for children’s literature realised they both taught their students about traditional folk tales and fairy tales. There was clearly commonality in the approaches and analytical tools. It became apparent that some of the tales that the English and Hungarian students study belong to the same tale-type and cycle. This triggered an idea. Could students from Hungary and England study together folk and fairy tales, share their research findings and do pedagogical work together? Appropriate tales were selected, a project plan was outlined and an international research project was born.
OBJECTIVES OF THE PROJECT
- The shared project between the two institutions emphasizes not only the intercultural aspects of folk tale tradition through investigating similarities and differences, but also targets identifying the national characteristics emerging in the tales, and enhancing knowledge about the British and Hungarian culture.
- It offers the possibility of gaining international experience by promoting international cooperation through students sharing research and knowledge exchange. It develops an intercultural dialogue between the English and Hungarian students through investigating how the tales can be represented in different art forms in different countries and by enhancing the students’ knowledge about folk tales, particularly the Hungarian and English ones, and relevant theory
- The project aims at fostering talent in Hungarian and English students by encouraging them to use English and Hungarian folk tale traditions in a creative way, to use the literary treasure of the two countries in their ways of expressing their thoughts, ideas, emotions about the world, human relationships, social changes and the connection between past and present. For Hungarian students, the project also offers the possibility to develop their English language skills.
- It intends to encourage schools from each country to actively participate, thus making it possible for students to compare pedagogical practices in a different European country. Students and schools will develop pedagogical teaching and learning activities for children to use so they can engage meaningfully with folk and fairy tales.
CONTENT OF THE PROJECT
The project aims at promoting and providing both academic and practical background for the English and Hungarian Folk Tales Research Project of University of Winchester and Apor Vilmos College. The students investigate English and Hungarian Folk and Fairy Tales favouring tales that are common to both England and Hungary. They have studied English and Hungarian Folk Tales for example which belong to the animal bridegroom fairy-tale cycle, different Jack and the Beanstalk variants, the Gingerbread Man and other tales belonging to The Fleeing Pancake tale type, and some tales of the Cinderella cycle. In the 2018-19 academic year they are supposed to work with different kinds of folk tale heroes and heroines.
The theoretical aspects of the project comprise reading and analyzing English and Hungarian folk tales focusing on language patterns, folk tale motifs and imagery; examining universal values and common truths while simultaneously addressing the specifics of the tales as historically and culturally bound. Students investigate different aspects of the tales within cultural narrative, moral, and psychoanalytical frameworks, and they get familiarized with critical methodologies used in the study of folk and fairy tales – Propp’s structuralist, Bettelheim’s psychological framework, and Zipes’ socio-political approach – and apply these methodologies to the texts.
Besides doing research on the texts, students are encouraged to investigate the ways the tales are represented in diverse cultural forms through books, picture books, artwork, puppetry, drama, media adaptations.
Students share their research findings on a project website , which is populated with their research papers, film links, project activity plans, records of their pedagogical practice in classroom. For the informal communication students made a closed facebook page.
Practical and artistic aspects are also emphasised in both institutions. The theoretical, research part of the project is accompanied by art and craft activities aiming at preparing puppets, props, scenery, illustrations and so on to be used in performances in seminars and in school work with children.
In parallel with the English and Hungarian students’ cooperation, there is also primary school work. Students research possible ways of working with the children based on the tales. They prepare lesson plans, dramatize and perform the tales with children. Records of their pedagogical practice in classrooms is recorded on the project website.
In the autumn term schools that have existing good partnerships with the universities host the students and assist them in their practical classroom work with children. Students work with children in their home country, experimenting with ideas for teaching children about the folk and fairy tales. They refine these and then prepare to share the classroom pedagogical techniques with their partner students during the project-week at the partner institution in the spring term. The most popular storytelling techniques and pedagogical applications used by the students so far are as follows: Kamishibai (paper theatre), story-mountain, story-map, story-string, tablet technology, dramatization of tales.
During the project weeks students also participate in exciting and inspiring thematic programmes. They join the interactive workshops held by lecturers and guest performers, watch dramatized versions of tales performed by primary school pupils and puppet performances at puppet theatres, visit story museums, and enjoy sightseeing in Budapest and Winchester.
Apor Vilmos Catholic College has been a member institution of Comenius Association since 2014. Comenius Association is an international network of European institutions of higher education specialized in teacher training and social education in 18 countries. Its purpose is to contribute to furthering the intercultural dimension in training European teachers through the cognitive, behavioural, methodological, pedagogic and linguistic domains. In order to encourage student and teacher mobility member institutions offer International Weeks with a wide variety of themes. The International Erasmus + Semesters offer students a more profound knowledge of the host institution and country. Every academic year there is an autumn and a spring meeting for the representatives of the member institutions. The autumn meeting is organized by a member institution offering also a conference focusing on topical issues. The Association’s Comenius Journal provides opportunity for students and teachers alike to publish about their scientific research or their international experience. Since 2017 Comenius Association has had a participatory status at the INGO’s Conference of the Council of Europe. Its representatives take part in different committees.
Address: Konstantin tér 1-5. H-2600 Vác, Hungary.
Postal address: Pf.: 237, H-2601 Vác, Hungary
Tel.: +36-27 / 511-148 / 206 ext
Fax: +36-27 / 511-141
The office is responsible for managing international programmes, at Apor Vilmos Catholic College, administering the establishment of new international partnerships and cooperating in maintaining the existing ones. It also oversees international grant applications and international projects: both exchange programmes and research projects. Coordinating the Erasmus+ programme at the institutional level is one of the main responsibilities.
Anna Megyeriné dr. Runyó
Head of International Office
Dr. Agnes Streitmann PhD
Representative of the Comenius Association
International Relations Assistant
Travelling to Apor Vilmos Catholic College, Vác, Hungary
From Budapest Airport to Nyugati pályaudvar (Western Railway Station, in Budapest city centre)
You always have to buy your tickets (either for the bus or the train) in advance from a ticket machine or at a ticket office.
From the Airport you can take bus No 200E to Ferihegy Railway Station (5th stop), where you can change to a train which takes you to Nyugati pályaudvar (Western Railway Station), which is the last stop. The train goes quite frequently.
From Nyugati pályaudvar (Western Railway Station) you should take a train to Vác. There are shuttle trains (in Hungarian: zónázó) No Z70 every hour at 07 (e.g.: 8.07), the first stop of which is Vác Railway Station (journey takes 25 mins). Or there are passanger trains No S70, which stop at every station and take 42 mins, and their last stop is Vác. These trains start from Nyugati every hour at 15 or 45 (e.g.: 8.15 or 8.45).
From Vác Railway Station it’s a 15 minutes’ walk to get to the college.
Apor Vilmos Catholic College
Konstantin tér 1-5
H- 2600 Vác, Hungary
Here is a map (the college is next to the Cathedral – No 5 on the map – on the right side).
Our two dormitories provide comfortable housing and learning conditions for a total of 145 students.
Accommodation is reserved in the central dormitory for some 20 international students and staff visiting our college or attending our Erasmus+ Semester.
The central dormitory is in the main building of the college and it offers convenient housing units on three floors. Each unit consists of two rooms, a bathroom and a toilet. There are two or three beds in one room. Internet is accessible all over the college. There is a shared kitchen on each floor equipped with a fridge, a microwave oven and a gas stove. Washing and ironing facilities are also provided.
The Students’ Union organises and supports cultural and entertainment programs, as well as sport activities for students living in the dormitories. There is also a club room in the basement for community programs.
Hotels and guest houses