Archive | Blogs

Miguel’s Mantle of the Expert adventures

Miguel Garcia is a beginning teacher based in New Plymouth. He’s embarking on his second Mantle of the Expert this term.

Check out this blog where Miguel and Viv discuss planning and teaching as the adventures unfold with this class. Should be of particular interest to beginners – though more experienced practitioners are also invited to view, comment and offer advice.

Only a handful of posts to read so far, but if you subscribe (see top right corner of blog) you can stay in touch with updates over the final few weeks…

Please note, as yet the blog doesn’t include any photos – these will be added once all the parent’s permission slips are in.

Thanks Miguel for being brave enough to share the ups and downs of this journey!




NZ Teachers blogging about Mantle

Kia Ora Colleagues

Teacher blogs can be a fantastic resource. For the writer it’s an opportunity to reflect, record and share progress and musings. For the reader, it’s an insight into another classroom and an opportunity to share, comment and connect.

Even when the experience is long over, the blog remains as a fascinating and detailed record.

We have a number of terrific teacher blogs on the Mantle website. Two recent additions are:

Leslee Allen’s blog on her adventures with “Number Agents” – a Maths programme she’s developed for junior primary based on the principles of Mantle. Leslee is also blogging enthusiastically about the success of play-based learning in her Northland school.

Merrin Diack has recently started a blog called “Rolling with Mantle” where she’s sharing her experiences with collaborative, cross-curricula planning and the neat learning that results for students at her Christchurch college.

Two mantles from opposite ends of Aotearoa, and with children of very different ages – both based on the same principles of role-taking, embodiment, imagination and authentic engagement.

Thanks for sharing, Leslee and Merrin!
If others are blogging about their adventures in mantle please let me know – we’d love set up a link from the Mantle of the Expert site.

Ka kite



New Blog – Mantle of the Expert, my current understanding

I’d like to alert you to a new  blogging project I’m starting today. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time – since 2009 in fact – when Dorothy Heathcote presented me with the photocopy of a handwritten document entitled “Mantle of the Expert – my current understanding”. This was her keynote for the Weaving our Stories conference held in Hamilton, New Zealand in that year. The keynote was also videorecorded and can be viewed from the UK mantle of the expert website here. (On the same page you can also find  the inspiring keynote delivered by Luke Abbott at the same event).

Anyway, the blog that I am starting today is my attempt to offer a kind of ‘reader’s guide’ to Prof Heathcote’s keynote. Each post will offer a ‘bite sized chunk’ of the address, along with commentary and interpretation. I hope it will be of interest to scholars and practitioners alike – and that people will join in with their own comments, questions and responses…

If you’d like to subscribe to the blog and receive updates on the project, please visit the vivadramablog here and subscribe. I will also set up a link from the ‘blogs’ section of the Mantle of the Expert Aotearoa website.

Ka kite!


Mantle of the Expert and the Titanic

Here’s a lovely link to check out. A teacher’s blog about using Mantle of the Expert to explore the history of the Titanic. Teacher Jenny Burrell has included details of her planning, notes on children’s responses and feedback from parents in this blog (from a UK school).  Lots to learn from and enjoy here.

By the way, if any NZ teachers are blogging their work in Mantle this team – do please send the link so we can share yours too!

Click here for linkmantle of ex titanic 005


HNS Mantle comes to a close

Just written my final blog post for this year’s mantle at HNS school. Comments from the children include “”I liked getting talked to and talking like an adult” and “I liked being someone else but not at the same time”. Meanwhile the teacher says,  “You should see some of the writing – talk about powerful. You won’t believe some of it is from 10 year old children…”. Check out the whole six week journey by clicking here

Huge thanks to Andy, the school and the students for what has been a fantastic ride… As always so much learned along the way!


Viv’s new blog

Hello all

I’m just about to embark on a six week mantle adventure with five student teachers, 31 children, one visiting PhD student  and a brave teacher (Andy Peart from HNS school). If you’d like to read the blog about our adventures, please visit

Once you are on the page, you can even subscribe to the blog to get updates in your email… Last year’s blog had 2000+ views – which is a very scary thought but does show that this is a good way to share our work…. Perhaps YOU could think about doing a blog too (and if you have not already checked out Priya’s wonderful blog – there’s a link from the mantle website).


New blog from Muritai

Priya Gain from Muritai School has sent the link to her latest blog – a mantle on Ancient Greeks! Have a read… Priya does a really great job at blogging the learning journey in an attractive and accessible way. To visit the blog, click here – or go to links on the right.


Year 3 Mantle – Toy Museum

Viv Aitken and her 14 third year student teachers from Waikato University are working together with classroom teacher Melissa Phillips and Deputy Principal Gay Gilbert on a 6 week Mantle of the Expert adventure children from room 17,  Hillcrest Normal School. We are going to be working with these enthusiastic year 3s as a toy museum, charged with caring for a precious and highly valuable set of toys. You can read about this MOTE by following our blog. Click here, or visit ‘links’ on the MOTE website.