Nau mai, haere mai!
Welcome to Mantle of the Expert Aotearoa

A website for kaiako / educators in Aotearoa New Zealand
and around the world, convened by Dr Viv Aitken

Here you will find everything you need to understand, plan, and implement engaging learning adventures, using the cross-curricula Dramatic Inquiry approach known as Mantle of the Expert (developed from the work of famed educator Dorothy Heathcote 1926-2011).

This site contains treasures from over 15 years of shared mahi (work) with teachers around Aotearoa, including podcasts, blogs, research, conference presentations, tips and guidance. It is currently being updated with all the planning resources and tools from the book Real in All the Ways that Matter.

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Readers and reviewers say…

“A lucid and accessible guide to the Mantle system … Viv’s book will be valued as a resource, not only by teachers in New Zealand but by ‘apprentice weavers’ everywhere.”

“What a tour de force!”

“… The theoretical sections and the descriptions of practice are as carefully created, presented, and engaging as Viv’s masterful teaching. Inquire, savor, and then share this gem with your teaching colleagues.”

Notes from te Kura Hōtoke Winter school 2023

Te Kura Hōtoke Winter school is something of a highlight in the PLD calendar for the DI community in Aotearoa, with its focus on Mantle of the Expert. This year was the first time we included three course levels in the one event. We were delighted to have Tim Taylor from the UK joining us […]

Reflections on working with a master teacher

For five weeks over July and the start of August 2023 I had the pleasure of hosting my friend and mentor Tim Taylor on a tour of the North Island of Aotearoa. We visited Whangarei, Hamilton, Palmerston North, Gisborne, Plimmerton and Auckland’s North Shore. We taught in schools, we presented workshops on our new book […]

Try This book tour starts soon

Just a few days to go till I collect my friend, mentor and co-author Tim Taylor from Auckland airport. It’s so exciting to be able to say this after several previous false starts due to Covid. Tim’s coming to teach on the Mantle of the Expert Winter school. He’ll also be joining me for a […]