Haere mai - welcome!

This site is for teachers in New Zealand interested in Dorothy Heathcote's dramatic inquiry approach to teaching and learning - Mantle of the  Expert. Here you can:

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Dr Viv Aitken Convenor

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Recent articles and news about Mantle of the Expert




Recent blogs from Teachers using Mantle of the Expert




A rich two days spent with Tim Taylor (UK)




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To me it is a very important form of inquiry learning. Using drama – kids develop more empathy when studying countries or scientific ideas or whatever. It's that empathy that I've really come to appreciate. You just don’t get that through any other form of inquiry. RM - Primary school teacher  

One of the features is that it steps children up into leadership and being more grown up. They don’t just talk about being an expert – they become an expert. Power sharing is huge. It allows children to go down pathways as experts and that is rare for children to have so much power. GG - Deputy Principal  

To me it encompasses everything about the ‘effective teacher profile’ [for culturally responsive pedagogy]  … Co-construction, student voice and the acknowledgement of cultural capital and prior knowledge. This is so key - particularly for Maori and Pasifika students - to believe their own knowledge base is important. KW - High School teacher  

I have used Mantle to achieve accelerated literacy results at my school and I am currently working alongside two teachers who are really excited to be using this unique pedagogy that not only engages students but achieves academic results. SB Deputy Principal


Viv is an amazing facilitator and really helped me to step out of my comfort zone as a learner and educator.  My whole staff now uses this approach and it has increased engagement and motivation in all students, particularly those who were previously disengaged from our normal inquiry approach. LA -Principal.

In 10 years of teaching, this was the most worthwhile professional development I've done.  Mantle of the Expert is now an integral part of my classroom program and one which has had an extremely positive impact on student learning and engagement … Viv's enthusiasm for and knowledge of Mantle of the Expert needs to be taken advantage of by more teachers!  RD -  Classroom teacher / Senior Curriculum leader