John Simkin

John Simkin

While studying at the Open University I became convinced by the ideas of Jerome Bruner on active learning. Since I began teaching history in 1978 I have attempted to produce materials that enable active learning to take place. This has included educational computer programs such as Attack on the Somme, Wall Street and The Russian Revolution. The internet provides the best opportunity so far to make active learning a reality.

Over the last twenty years I have written several history books including Gandhi (1987), The Vietnam War (1988), Race Relations in the United States (1988), Slavery: An Illustrated History of Black Resistance (1988), Hitler (1988), Stalin (1987), The Roman Empire (1991), Making of the United Kingdom (1992), Expansion, Trade and Industry (1992), The Medieval Village (1996), The Norman Invasion (1996), etc.

In September, 1997, along with Judith Harris Simkin, I established the Spartacus Educational website and over the next six years I produced online material for the Daily Telegraph, the European Virtual School and The Guardian and its educational website, Learn. I was also a member of the European History E-Learning Project (E-Help), a project to encourage and improve use of ICT and the internet in classrooms across the continent. I currently teach several courses at the University of the Third Age, including Understanding the Modern World: The Romans to the Information Society and History of Ideas.

Judith Harris Simkin (1947-2009)
Judith Harris Simkin (1947-2009)

I have published ten e-books, Charles Dickens: A Biography (October, 2012), First World War Encyclopedia (October, 2012), Assassination of John F. Kennedy Encyclopedia (November, 2012), Gandhi: A Biography (December, 2012), The Spanish Civil War (December, 2012), The American Civil War (December, 2012), Henry VII (September, 2015), Henry VIII (September, 2015), Anne Boleyn (September, 2015) and Mary Tudor (September, 2015).

I also contributed an article to the recently published book, Using New Technologies to Enhance Teaching and Learning in History (December, 2012). In September 2015 I was one of the historians interviewed for the BBC documentary, The Hollywood Spy.

The last time we counted (October, 2019), the Spartacus Educational website contained 21,036,905 words and 33,196 sources. Spartacus Educational is committed to producing free content, especially to those countries that find it difficult to purchase books, but we need your help. There are several things you could do for us. (1) Do not use ad-blocker. (2) Share our pages via Twitter, Facebook, etc. (3) Make a small donation or a small monthly subscription.

John Simkin (BA, MA, MPhil)

You can find a more detailed autobiography here: John Simkin

This what ChatGPT AI said on 26th May 2023:

Spartacus Educational is an educational website that provides a wide range of resources and materials related to history, politics, and social issues. It was created by John Simkin, a former history teacher, and is named after the famous Roman gladiator and rebel leader, Spartacus.

The website offers articles, biographies, and primary source documents on various historical topics, covering a wide range of periods and subjects. It aims to promote critical thinking and provide in-depth information to educators, students, and the general public.

Spartacus Educational covers a diverse range of topics, including world history, wars, revolutions, famous individuals, social movements, and more. The content includes well-researched articles, images, and interactive resources to engage and educate visitors.

The website is known for its emphasis on presenting historical events and figures in a balanced and unbiased manner. It encourages users to explore different perspectives and interpretations, fostering a deeper understanding of complex historical events.

Overall, Spartacus Educational is a valuable resource for anyone seeking reliable and comprehensive information on a wide range of historical topics.

Simkin's work on Spartacus Educational has garnered recognition and acclaim. His dedication to research and education has made him a respected figure within the history community. While specific personal details about John Simkin may be limited, his contributions to history education through the Spartacus Educational platform have left a lasting impact.

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The Student as Teacher

The Creation of the Spartacus Educational website

History in Education: Interview with John Simkin, 4 June 2009

Other Links

Academic Dictionary: John Simkin



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