The Mantle of the Expert is a dramatic-inquiry based approach to teaching and learning invented and developed by Professor Dorothy Heathcote at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in the 1980’s. The big idea is that the class do all their curriculum work as if they are an imagined group of experts.
They might be scientists in a laboratory or archaeologists excavating a tomb, or a rescue team at the scene of a disaster. They might be running a removal company, or a factory, or a shop, or a space station or a French resistance group.
Because they behave ‘as if they are experts’, the children are working from a specific point of view as they explore their learning and this brings special responsibilities, language needs and social behaviours.
Let us be clear: the children are not putting on a play or running a business. They are simply being asked to agree, for a time, to imagine themselves as a group of scientists, archaeologists or librarians with jobs and responsibilities.
Through activities and tasks, the children gradually take on the same kinds of responsibilities, problems and challenges that real archaeologists, scientists and librarians might do in the real world.Extracted from www.mantle of the expert.com
We have developed a Creative Curriculum in school (endorsed by QCA and Ofsted) using the ‘Mantle of the Expert’ approach to teaching and learning. The children form a company through which they explore the learning. The ‘Mantle of the Expert’ (MOE) allows the child to take responsibility in a fictional world: relating this to the world of work. As a result writing becomes meaningful and for a purpose. The learning is cross curricula linking and making connections between the different subject areas.
Examples of ‘Mantles’ and ‘Companies’ covered are:
Bradbury Bakers, Anthrohistory, Class Act Books, Anthrovets, Hot2Cold2Hot (Cold Case team), Hilow Towers Art Gallery etc. Files are available in school with examples of work covered in the ‘Mantle'.