In the first phase of the project during the 2nd half of the 2020/21 school year the Society of Hungarian Authors will organize contemporary literature classes with literary authors in Budapest and in 4 other cities for secondary school students three times in each school (in February, March and April).
Preparing for this process associates of the Society created a group of teachers from selected schools to attend online workshops, interviews and discussions. Below you can find some thoughts from the teachers addressing their everyday challenges of teaching contemporary Hungarian and world literature in local secondary schools.
Thoughts from the teachers
“The issue of contemporary literature is not a lost battle, the students read, e.g., contemporary poets and are asked for their opinions on them. Many also write poems; there is a need for programs and talent management as well. Literature is not a mausoleum, but a process which we are still a part of.”
“In high school education, literature is in the “also-ran” category; it has no perspectives. It would be important for it not to be too textbookish, but also to deal with current problems. This is the task: to find the way back to the children, to make them feel that literature is about them as well.”
“There would be a need for a change of attitude in the pedagogical society, as now children are excluded from texts close to them.”
“There is a lot of compulsory text in the graduation material, so it is difficult to incorporate contemporary literature into the curriculum. Their solution is to place contemporary texts next to the obligatory ones, and in this form, they also arouse the interest of the students.”
“It would be very important for teachers to read a lot as well, broadening their own and each other’s horizons.”
“Contemporary texts should be presented in parallel with classics. It is very important to teach experientially.”
The quotes are from the online preparation meetings held 4 December 2020 and 15 January 2021.
The first series of the contemporary literature classes will take place online in cooperation with 5 secondary schools in 5 different Hungarian cities (Ajka, Budapest, Debrecen, Pécs and Székesfehérvár) with the participation of 5 well-known literary authors from 22. to 26. February 2021.