Interview with Jon Nichol, 3 August 2009
Professor Jon Nichol is a teacher trainer and widely-read authority on history teaching. His career has been spent largely in higher education in the West Country. He has extensive research interests in history education, including the gifted and talented, the use of technology and the Nuffield Primary History Project, which he developed in collaboration with John Fines. He is editor of the journal for primary teachers, 'Primary History'. Jon Nichol recalls his early career and the emergence of new thinking in history education in the early 1960s as eager young graduates carved out careers for themselves in the expanding teacher training colleges. He became interested in the use of games and simulations in history. He reviews the influence of the Schools Council History Project in the 1970s and 80s and in particular notes the influence of John Fines on the Project. Although opposed to the National Curriculum, Fines saw its potential for increasing history teaching at primary level.Finally, Jon Nichol notes that ideas about how to teach history come round in cycles - for instance the current interest in combining history and geography at primary level, which was popularised in the 1970s through Schools Council Projects. Interviewed by Nicola Sheldon.