Department of Pedagogical Science
History of the Department
The Department of Pedagogical Science is one of the oldest departments at Comenius University’s Faculty of Arts. Relatively shortly after its foundation, in the winter term of 1923/1924, the faculty opened a pedagogical school whose primary purpose was to provide pedagogical education for prospective secondary school teachers and to develop pedagogical science. Like other schools at the faculty, this one also heavily relied on the help of Czech professors. The school’s first director was Prof. O. Chlup, who held the post until 1927. He was succeeded by Prof. J. Hendrich, who continued in his work and significantly contributed to the development of the school in 1928-1938. That he was really attached to the school and the faculty is best proven by his commitment to Comenius studies, as well as to his research in the area of education in Slovakia. His work at the department is particularly valued for the contribution he made to the training of Slovak teachers, the research into the Slovak history of education and to the postulation of the philosophy of education. In the 1937/1938 academic year, Prof. J. Hendrich was replaced by Prof. J. Uher as the new director. Unfortunately, he was one of the first Czech professors who were forced to leave the faculty following a decision made by the Slovak government with effect from 1 January 1939. The above mentioned three professors influenced the content focus of pedagogical science as part of the training of secondary school teachers. Pedagogical science included general pedagogy, the history of education and pedagogical science, the interpretation of Comenius’ books, didactics, pedagogical psychology, the organization of schooling, reforms and others.
The Pedagogical School remained in existence throughout the Second World War, as well as in the restored Czechoslovakia of the post-war period. After Prof. Uher’s forced departure, it was led by Prof. Juraj Čečetka. He was assisted by Dr. J. Dieška in the 1944/1945 academic year. In the post-war period, the director of the Pedagogical School was involved in the preparation and implementation of study reforms at the faculty. The school played an important role in providing pedagogical education to future teachers and actively participated in research activities in the area of pedagogical science. It significAfter the dissolution of schools and the formation of departments, pedagogical science, together with psychology, logic and sociology, was integrated into the Department of the History of Philosophy. Although pedagogical science was not taught at an independent department in 1950-1953, it was studied within a double major study programme in combination with psychology. In 1953 pedagogical science and psychology were separated from the Department of the History of Philosophy and became the Department of Pedagogical Science and Psychology with Prof. J. Čečetka as its head.antly contributed especially to the development of theoretical and empirical research in the area of education.
An independent Department of Pedagogical Science came into existence in 1959 when a part of the Department of Pedagogical Science and Psychology merged with the Department of Pedagogical Science of the Teachers’ College in Bratislava. The arrival of new faculty meant a reinforcement of pedagogical science and an introduction of a new study programme to the faculty – Pedagogical Science. The first Head of the Department of Pedagogical Science was Prof. G. Pavlovič (1959-1970). Later it was managed by Prof. J. Mátej (1970-1986), Prof. J. Vida (1986-1989; in the 1987/1988 academic year, he was temporarily substituted by Assoc. Prof. M. Žilínek), Dr. P. Kompolt (December 1989-31 March 1990), Prof. J. Pšenák (1990-1997) and Assoc. Prof. Z. Baďuríková (1997-present).
General Characteristics of the Department
The Department of Pedagogical Science provides training for pedagogy teachers (in a double major programme in combination with a variety of fields), highly qualified experts in pedagogical theory and practice (in a single major programme) and general pedagogical training for teacher trainees. It also trains doctoral students in the field. The department also offers supplementary pedagogical training for university graduates. The study programmes on offer (the single or the double major teaching programme) allow students to specialize their studies, depending on their interests, in the following areas: ethical education, pedagogical counselling, pre-school pedagogy, social pedagogy and school pedagogy. The department also trains foreign doctoral students (from the Czech Republic, Columbia, Vietnam, Germany and Greece).
The research activities of the department’s faculty are in organic harmony with their teaching activities. Research output is incorporated into the teaching process. In the area of research, the department primarily centres on school pedagogy, social pedagogy, pre-school pedagogy, pedagogical diagnostics, didactics, the theory of education, alternative schools, pedagogical axiology, the methodology of educational sciences, the philosophy of education and pedagogical counselling. The results of the department’s research projects have been presented at domestic and foreign conferences and seminars and published in domestic and foreign journals and proceedings.
The department’s faculty have participated in several international projects and collaborated with other institutions on their research activities. The department has long-term research collaborations mainly with colleagues in the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovenia and the Netherlands.
The Department of Education at the Faculty of Arts, Comenius University in Bratislava as a scientific and pedagogical workplace is an integral part of faculty structure and fulfils the following tasks:
1. formation of the future teachers of pedagogy (in combination with teaching of other academic subject),
2. formation of the highly qualified experts in the field of pedagogic theory and practice (in the one field study),
3. pedagogical formation of teacher candidates for academic subjects,
4. formation of students in the doctoral program in the field of pedagogy,
5. development of pedagogical theory and scientific research,
6. organization of supplementary pedagogical study for the graduates of universities.