We have been developing realistic learning contexts through Drama, particularly a system known as Mantle of the Expert, developed by the inspirational, gifted and internationally renowned Educator Dorothy Heathcote.
In a Mantle of the Expert, a fictional world is created in which the children all have roles as an expert in a particular field. Their presumed expertise develops into a genuine expertise in certain areas of learning (some of them pre-planned by the teacher) and their understanding of certain concepts (again, planned by the teacher) is greatly enhanced. Almost any area of the curriculum could be taught through a Mantle of the Expert.
There are 3 examples below with more to follow. This term, our Mantle of the Expert themes are:
- Y 1/2 – Dragons
- Y 3/4 – The Oil Rig
- Y 5/6 – Privateers in the Spanish Main
A description of an exciting and creative two weeks in the life of a year 3 and 4 class.
Life in Tudor and Stuart times.
Lorry haulage company, asked to help transport endangered animals to safety (Y1 and 2).
An organisation formed to promote better understanding of extremely tall people in modern times and also to research evidence of entire races of giants through history (Y5 and 6).