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According to this article (one of) the grade 8 geography textbook shows several pictures there are clearly biased against EU and US:

Then there is an incredible illustration in the grade 8 geography textbook. It depicts Germany as a sow, feeding four little piglets that represent countries that are dependent on Germany’s financial help: Greece, Spain, Portugal, and Belgium. A fifth piggy, identified by a Hungarian flag, stands aside, giving the impression that Hungary is not the beneficiary of money that Germany pays into the common purse of the European Union.

Clearly this is related to current political climate surrounding Hungary and EU. However, it is unclear why let such political issues invade school textbooks especially for children that will not be able to vote in the next EU elections.

Question: Why does Hungary mix politics with children's education?

closed as primarily opinion-based by user2501323, bytebuster, Sjoerd, Rupert Morrish, James K Nov 15 '18 at 19:54

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    All social sciences are unavoidably politicised. – Samuel Russell Nov 15 '18 at 9:26
  • @SamuelRussell, but if question is about just one country, reader may decide, that this is the only example.) – user2501323 Nov 15 '18 at 12:39
  • @SamuelRussell It is; but not all school textbooks are government controlled. – gerrit Nov 15 '18 at 14:25
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"Ah, how cute. The nice fat sow is nursing the even cuter little piglets in blissful loving motherhood.
All soon to be slaughtered."

Well, pictures do say more than a thousand words. And that offers a multitude of interpretations.

As this question is framed and the original source misses to give necessary context:

Almost all schoolbooks do that. In America they include intelligent design in biology textbooks. In many countries they have a famous picture in them that is incredibly brutal: a small boy with fear in his face and his hands up is rounded up by German soldiers and on his way to death in a concentration camp.
Then many caricatures are frequently used to teach the children how to analyse them.

In this case, perhaps: Describe the picture, analyse what is used to convey a message. What is this message? Is it true, or manipulative? –– Then I would say: "nicely done."
It can be really 'just an illustration' used to spice up a bland text about the inner workings of the EU financial politics of specific time. If used in this way to summarise the textual content, I'd say: "What were they thinking?"

All schoolbooks have political content, politicised content in them. Some have disgusting content or questionable content. Some may have content you disagree with.

It is a matter of context, aim and presentation.

This can be seen as necessary to teach the school children how the politicised world of mass communication works. This can be used to indoctrinate the students in certain ways. Politicised content can be good, can be egregious. But it cannot be seen as avoidable. That would make a lot of books useless. Especially those about history, sociology and other social sciences close to politics itself. Thinking of it as 'avoidable' is an illusion. And necessarily a backfiring one.


Notice that in this case the picture is the following:

enter image description here

And the text seems to say:

Among the world's leading powers.
Of most of the people who are living in Europe, most of them are farmers. It is one of the most important policies of the European Union, the dominant role of the world economy and the world of politics.

Does anyone get it? Germans pay the most into the European Union's coffers. Identify the cartoonists, then elaborate the picture.

(Mostly machine translated. And therefore dubious in its intricacies.
Hungarian speakers: Please correct if this is incorrect.
The translation is preliminary.
Do not read too much into the English version of it!)

Notice the imperfect depiction of one piglet. It's either Belgium done wrong or again Germany! A pertuum piglet.

If the translation approximates correctness, I'd say that this leaves most of the outcome to the teacher, as there seems to be no obvious solution given? Can be good, can be bad.

  • What? Does Hungary really teach its children that most people living in Europe are farmers? That's just radically wrong. – gerrit Nov 15 '18 at 14:21
  • Note that, if the exercise is to train children to read critically and understand the power of imagery, including this image in a textbook is no less indoctrination than including an Aktion T4 poster or fragments of other nazi propaganda in educational material. It may be that there is a centralised plan to politicise Hungarian kids against the EU or other countries, or may be not, the inclusion of this image by itself does not prove that there is. – gerrit Nov 15 '18 at 14:26
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    @gerrit I wouldn't put it that way. But the agriculture part is a large part of the EU budget: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budget_of_the_European_Union – LangLangC Nov 15 '18 at 16:23
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    (1) I'm not saying it isn't an attempt to indoctrinate children, just that it might not be; and (2) yes, agriculture is a huge part of the EU budget, but most people in Europe are not farmers. Those are two very different statements. – gerrit Nov 15 '18 at 17:15
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    @Brythan Yes, I mean that either can be included in history or politics textbooks and are not propaganda when properly contextualised. Thanks. – gerrit Nov 16 '18 at 10:30

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