This chapter addresses recent reforms in the regulation system that governed curriculum in Hungary during the 1990’s. The presented case is placed within the broader context of educational change in order to better understand why and how reforms occur in education systems. The case is also necessarily linked to the larger social framework of transitions from non-democratic regimes to democracy and a free-market economy. This chapter analyzes the impact of the transition context on educational reform in Hungary, revealing those characteristics that distinguish the this case from others. More specifically, the analysis concentrates on those elements which are relevant to the theory of educational change as presented in Fullan’s model (1991). It is argued that the change process as experienced in Hungary does not necessarily follow linear patterns, as is the case in North America, and that coherent outcomes may also emerge from rather chaotic processes. The case presented here has a number of unique features. First, it relates to a major system change with implications for all elements of education in Hungary. This change is different from that related to one specific development project or which targets change in one organisation or predetermined set of schools. However, its scope is limited to change in one concrete component of the education system, that of curriculum regulation. Second, the change being analysed is not yet fully completed – if completion of change is a meaningful notion; that is, not all of its outcomes can be fully evaluated. Nevertheless, it has had a sufficiently long history fro
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