Interview with Michael Hinton, 25 January 2010

Michael Hinton was born in 1927 and has had two careers, the first in teaching and the second as an Anglican priest. He discusses his teaching career, beginning in the late 1940s in grammar schools. He had done his degree at Oxford and initially rejected many of the progressive ideas on his teacher training course at the Institute of Education. When he went into school, he changed his mind and tried to use new approaches. One ambitious lesson he recalls from the 1950s involved creating a filmstrip with a class of boys on the topic of the British Navy during the Napoleonic Wars. At that time, each teacher was 'king in his own classroom' which gave him freedom to do what he wanted. Still, most of his teaching was 'chalk and talk'. However, he encouraged debate in his sixth form classes. Michael Hinton taught in three grammar schools during the 1950s and 60s and became a chief examiner. In 1970, he became headteacher of a new comprehensive school in the West Country and discusses the difficulties of merging grammar and secondary modern schools. He was committed to the comprehensive ideal and wrote a book about it. Interviewed by Nicola Sheldon

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