On 18th April the secondary cluster group held their regular skype discussion. Our small group really got its teeth into some ‘meaty’ discussion of power and the different forms it can take in a classroom.

Our discussions were based around the following article written by Brian Edmiston. The article is taken from the UK Mantle of the Expert website – WELL worth a look for any teacher.

The key points from Edmiston’s article are summarized in the other document attached here – a handout from Luke Abbott (thanks Luke!). We decided to take the questions from this handout as a starting point for thinking about our own practice… a great challenge!

Building Social Justice

Handout on power in MOTE

To learn more about the Secondary cluster group, contact viv or leave a comment below.

Waikato cluster group members are holding an information evening this coming Thursday 15th March at 5.30pm at Educational Leadership Centre, Faculty of Education. This event has been organised in association with the Centre for Continuing education at the University of Waikato.

The session will be hosted by teachers who are using the approach with success in their classrooms. It is designed to appeal to teachers, parents and anyone else in the community with an interest in educational innovation.

Attached is a flyer produced by the Centre for Continuing education, with enrolment information.

Mantle of the Expert short

Two MOTE cluster meetings were held within two days in February!

The secondary skype group held a very successful chat (despite some mild technical issues) in which ideas were shared about MOTE and NCEA assessment. We were pleased to welcome some newcomers to that conversation, with participants ranging from the far North to Wellington. The next secondary skype discussion will be held Tuesday 17th April at 7pm

The other meeting as held at St Thomas More school in Mt Maunganui. This one was attended by teachers and student teachers from Bay of Plenty Primary schools and hosted by Elicia Pirini. We shared experiences of teacher in role and discussed ways of working in MOTE to successfully build belief in the company. Thanks Elicia, for writing up your notes and reflections on this event. A brief extract is shown below – full notes can be found within the teacher’s discussion forum.

 Establishing the company takes time, it needs to ripen slowly and the student’s role and identity within the company needs to be deliberately grown.  I liken it to a marae when there is a major event being held.  Many roles need to be fulfilled; these roles often come from a historical reputation and traditional protocols that have been handed down from previous generations.  People have been groomed into a particular role.  There is an air of expectation that all roles must be fulfilled so that the marae has a high reputation of manaakitanga. (hosting and looking after others). All roles are considered vital for the common good of those involved in and with the marae. There is an understanding of belonging and contributing that occurs when roles and purpose transform to a culture/a way of being.

The next meeting of the Tauranga cluster group will take place on the Wednesday 2nd May at 5pm  at St Thomas More

For more information about these cluster groups, please contact Viv or Elicia or place a comment on this message.

2012 is off to a flying start. A number of teachers at primary and secondary are plotting great things in their classrooms for term 1 or term 2. The summer school paper in Tauranga is going really well, and a bunch of new teachers is coming through all enthused and ready to try the approach.

We have already held a small skype call for secondary teachers around the country in which we discussed some planning ideas. This group meets again (over skype) on Weds 22nd Feb at 7pm. Meantime, the conversations continue via the MOODLE discussion forum on the website. Check out  this link for more.
If you are a secondary teacher and would like to join this group, please let Viv know.

The next face to face cluster meeting in Waikato will be Tuesday 7th Feb at 5pm  at The Education Leadership centre, downstairs at the rear of the Faculty of Education building, University of Waikato. All are welcome.

The suggestion is that we look at different ways to establish and build belief in a MOTE company / enterprise. Some new ideas have come through teachers’ work recently which would be great to share. Please bring your ideas / questions about this crucial stage of planning for a MOTE. Please also bring a plate of food to share.

The other focus for the gathering will be planning for our open evening, coming up in March.

A small gathering was held via Skype on January 10th, enabling a conversation between various secondary teachers interested in using Mantle of the Expert in their teaching in 2012.

The group discussed the issues of working within timetable and assessment constraints, how to get started in MOTE with inexperienced children, and some possible planning ideas for building a MOTE experience to incorporate English, Drama and Social studies.

This group of teachers will be meeting again via skype close to the start of Term one. If you are a secondary teacher and would like to join the group, please email Viv for information.



A successful planning session was held in Hamilton last week where local teachers came together to brainstorm ideas and share advice for term four:

Amongst others, we generated the following ideas:

  • A Mantle of the expert approach to the story Jack and the Beanstalk, for year two primary students. In this case, the teacher has decided to place a strong emphasis on the drama for learning / process drama side with teacher going into role as the giant’s wife, very distressed at the stealing of her golden hen…. The teacher really wanted to work with this theme after experiencing some petty theft within the classroom.
  • A MOTE for senior high school students involving a company that regulates new technologies in the marketplace [this one can be seen as working in the ‘regulatory’ mode from Heathcote’s list]. This one is going to be used as a starting point for a senior drama unit and the students will be challenged to explore ethical and political issues arising from secretive surveillence in society. Students’ ideas will be used as the basis for a devised performance.
  • For a senior primary class, a mantle of the expert exploration of the environmental damage from ‘Rena’ (the cargo ship currently aground off the Bay of Plenty). We discussed how important it would be with this one to take care with ‘frame distance’, as this is a real life issue, currently unfolding. We talked about how we could enrol the students as a company commissioned to clean out and recycle the shipping containers that have floated off the ship… this will take the class into science, design and math learning.

The gathering was useful not only to touch base with other teachers but also to remind ourselves of some of planning steps and guiding principles of planning in MOTE. Again, it was impressive to see primary, early years and secondary teachers sharing ideas. Kia Ora team!

The Waikato cluster group will be holding its next meeting on Thursday 19th May at Hillcrest Normal School (Cambridge road, Hamilton) Start time: 4pm.

The focus for this get together will be a presentation by PhD student Carrie Swanson. Carrie will be sharing the planning she has done for for a science-based MOTE written for senior primary students based around the extreme weather events of the Wahine disaster. A nice opportunity to hear about Mantle of the Expert planning principles  used to explore a NZ historical theme.

All are welcome to attend – bring a plate!