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Introduction

In a nutshell Mantle of the Expert is a teaching and learning approach where the class adopt an expert point of view within an imaginary scenario. For example, a mountain rescue team, rescuing a stranded climber trapped on the side of a mountain. The ‘mantle’ is the range of responsibilities, duties and roles they have as a team of experts. For example – working safely, checking equipment, planning and preparing, training for rescues, knowing the mountain terrain, advising climbers on the dangers of the mountain, etc.
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Of course, the children are not real experts and would never really fly helicopters or rescue people off the side of mountains in the middle of a snow storm. However, many would like to imagine themselves doing it and this is the attraction of using Mantle of the Expert in the classroom. When the children agree to take on the ‘mantle of the expert’ they enter into the fiction as the ones who know, with the power to make choices, take decisions and influence events. But, crucially, they also agree to take on the responsibilities, duties and roles of the expert team. This is why Dorothy Heathcote felt the name was so appropriate and one of the things that differentiates it, as an approach, from conventional drama for learning.

(Tim Taylor, 2014)

 

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