What is Mantle of the Expert ?
In a nutshell... Mantle of the Expert is an enquiry method of teaching, which engages pupils as active learners, and enables teachers to meet their curriculum targets. Pupils are asked to take on the idea of working as a fictional 'enterprise' or team. They carry out a variety of tasks, to complete a purposeful 'commission' from a 'client.' The Mantle of the Expert system was created by Dorothy Heathcote. There's no set way of planning a Mantle project, but this guide will take you through some of the key elements. Click on the links below for more details.
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Dorothy said she started each Mantle differently. “Now at some stage, there has to be the 'client' emerge so that you can begin the study work, the curriculum work you want. But first, under normal circumstances, I would establish the ‘adulthood’ of the children – not by saying, ‘Let’s all be grown up’ or anything daft like that; but I establish the merest business enterprise that will flourish eventually for the 'client,' into the curriculum the teacher wants.” (Talk to teachers, 25 2.09) More details here.
“Tasks begin very simply – no matter what the children actually know when they begin, the first task will start everyone off into the 'enterprise' they will service.” (Heathcote, unpublished “Tasks” chart). More details here.
Tasks build the students’ interest in working things out; engagement with “getting things moving”; and a “bonding all together because we are getting attached to wanting us to be successful". We begin to be "invested in our enterprise”. (Unpublished "Tasks" chart). More details here.
Four: Introduce the Client and the Commission
“… a commission coming in then gets into the curriculum the teacher wants…” (Talk to teachers, 25.2.09). More details here.
At the end, the students “should publish, in one way or another”. This might take the form of a ceremony, a theatrical presentation, an exhibition, etc. (Heathcote in conversation, 28.8.07). More details here.