Fines and Coltham Revisited
In 1979 Rogers with passion, precision and theoretical integrity examined the nature of knowledge that underpins the teaching of history, focussing upon the procedural (know how) knowledge that underpins the propositional (know that) knowledge. Rogers provides the solid foundations for the creation of a ‘New History’ curriculum that meets the demands of both political parties. Rogers contrasts markedly with the Fines prescription of 1971. This is represented starkly as a behaviourist nostrum full of checklists and targets. Yet the reality was that it represented a break with conventional thinking about History Education and forced us to consider, albeit in a totally impractical way, what history teaching was for and about. As such, it was a powerful catalyst – indeed, its liberating energy is perhaps reflected in the other John Fines, the great teacher, story teller and dramatist who brought the past to life through teaching with passion rooted in a deep, practical knowledge of both history and teaching. Fines, with Rogers, can provide us with insights for the generation of the local, teacher controlled and directed curriculum that is now under consideration. As such, they need serious consideration, and even more important, assimilation into the thinking and orientation of those who will control the History Education of the next generation of children.