In a phasing-out system, textbook development and publishing has become a role of the state in Hungary. The Hungarian Institute for Educational Research and Development plays a major part in developing new, so called pilot textbooks, which are currently being used in grades 1, 2, 5, 6, 9 and 10.
Teachers had the opportunity to volunteer to give feedback on the new textbooks, so that their opinion can be used during the revision process, and thus incorporated into the new editions. The system of providing feedback is made up of two parts: a questionnaire-based survey, to be completed at the beginning and the end of the school year, and continuous filling in of an electronic work diary, where detailed feedback can be given about specific problems and tasks. There are fifty teachers per volume who evaluate the book, and thus support the work of textbook developers. This process is the one during which pilot textbooks finally create a new generation of textbooks in our country.
Our Institute also organises a series of lectures in October, to answer the new textbook-related questions of teachers, and help them in their work with the new textbooks. Lectures and workshops will take place in 20 locations all over Hungary.
The average price of the new textbooks is 300 HUF per copy (around 1 euro), which is the quarter of the previous mean cost of textbooks. For the school year 2014-2015, 62 volumes had been published. The use of new textbooks is supported by a digital platform, available at http://etananyag.ofi.hu/. The website includes workbooks, curricula and teachers’ support materials, and is temporarily available, until the completion of the new National Public Education Portal. By clicking on the chapter titles of the textbooks, one can find animations, videos, interactive tasks and collections of links, which facilitate effective and exciting learning at home and in schools alike. These are partly materials developed in the HIERD, and partly materials collected from all over the internet, and systematically organised on our page, to which new resources are continuously uploaded.