Mantle of The Expert

The Federation began to use the Mantle of the Expert approach in 2016.

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 1980s. 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.

Mantle of the Expert in action in Years 5 and 6, May 2017

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.

Through activities and tasks, the children gradually take on some of the same kinds of responsibilities, problems and challenges that real archaeologists, scientists and librarians might do in the real world.

The following link will take you to a piece of action research developed by Mr Cole in 2017. It details the activities taught and experienced by the children and what they learned. The sessions were based upon the theme of Pirates and the life of Captain Henry Morgan.