Weaving the Threads of a Continuum: Teacher Education in Hungary from the Perspective of European Developments

This paper aims to examine to what extent and how teacher education in Hungary reflects contemporary European policy and research developments with regard to the continuum of teacher education, meaning the overarching unity of initial teacher education, induction, and continuing professional development. First, the paper examines European policy documents to identify patterns and themes related to the continuum concept. Based on the specific analysis, a framework was developed to explore the continuum of teacher education and this was employed in the case of Hungary. Drawing from a content analysis of official documents and in-depth interviews with national policy experts and teacher educators as well as focus groups with teachers, the paper continues by analysing the development of teacher education in Hungary from the introduction of the Bologna reforms in 2005 to the restoration of undivided initial teacher education in 2012 and the implementation of a new system for the teacher career path in 2013. The findings indicate that while Hungary has adopted several structural elements related to the continuum which reflect European thinking, a lack of interconnections among the different phases of teacher education is apparent.