Happy new year to all subscribers to the MOTE Aoteoroa website. There are now 80+ of us! Here’s a video to kick off the new year.

In this extract from a presentation given at the Dalai Lama’s Centre for Education, Ken Robinson is his usual brilliant self as he presents his core argument in favour of education for feeling and empathy. As he says, “Empathy and imagination are the things that make us human”. For those of us heading back to work this week Robinson’s words are a crucial reminder of the real reason we do what we do …. watch this and be re-inspired for 2013

CLICK HERE for the video

At the end of the address there is the option to click on a link and watch the whole talk – well worthwhile.

Check out this You Tube video from Peter O’Connor, which gives a very credible and well informed critique of Charter Schools in NZ. One to watch if you want to get yourself informed on this issue.

“The dominant special character of such schools tends to be one of business entrepreneurship”

Is this what we want?


Here’s an odd one….. A professorial lecture on Metaxis which is delivered in real world AND second life at the same time.

I find it fascinating as the speaker Liz Falconer theorizes online learning and learning in general using just the same theoretical constructs as we use in drama research. An interesting moment when she asks members of BOTH audiences how “present” they feel in their learning.

Mantle of the Expert: an embodied form of second life?


At long last – here is a chance to view a video of the Mantle of the Expert information evening held at the University of Waikato on 15th March 2012. The workshop was an opportunity for teachers from Waikato and surrounds to share about their use of Mantle of the Expert.

The video is quite long – so is broken into five sections. Please be aware this is not a professional video – camera is hand held and sometimes the sound is not clear… Unfortunately much of the small group work carried out by the teachers did not translate effectively to video, so you mostly see Viv who was facilitating the whole group sections.

The workshop is not an example of Mantle of the Expert BUT it is an attempt to use aspects of Mantle of the Expert to teach about the approach… You will see there are some sections of text within the footage to provide a bit of guidance. Hope it is of interest… Thanks to those who helped with the evening (credits at the end of the film)….

Mantle of the Expert info evening – part 1

Mantle of the Expert info evening – part 2

Mantle of the Expert info evening – part 3

Mantle of the Expert info evening – part 4

Mantle of the Expert info evening – part 5


I stumbled on this clip on you tube, which might be of interest. Jeffrey Wilheim, working with high school students in Canada, uses the strategy “role of the expert” to encourage children into a discussion as high status figures. To clarify – though tagged as “mantle of the expert” this isn’t the full MOTE “system” at work….  Indeed, watching it, I was dying to see them shift the space around, get up and work in role as “others” in the drama… All the same, there are some interesting observations from the teachers and children about how much can be shifted even by a short term interaction in high status roles.

Click here to view

This clip from the NZ curriculum website [effective pedagogy section] shows Gay Gilbert and Lynette Townsend discussing the advantages of Mantle of the Expert and how they used it in their school. They are describing here a MOTE in which children were in role as documentary researchers, exploring the issue of the Kaimanawa Horse culls.









This TED talk speech from child speaker Adora Svitak has some important messages for teachers, and adults in general. She’s rather terrifyingly precocious but  I like how she challenges us to rethink the teacher-student relationship based on trust. And her call to adults to ‘allow us kids to grow up and blow you away’ rather than become another set of adults just like you…

Here is an example of what teachers in the D4LC (Drama for Learning and Creativity) project in the UK are achieving with drama. In this example, Patrice Baldwin is seen working with teachers of young children to support learning in Maths through drama.

Click here


This moving you tube video is a trailer for a film about education. A compelling addition to the ongoing discussion about the true meaning of education. Well worth a watch…


It’s not Mantle of the Expert, but I think teachers using the system will appreciate and recognise aspects of MOTE in this clip from America… Children in high status positions, credited with the intelligence and aptitude to address the real issues facing the world. Watch this teacher in action – his positioning of the children and his embracing of their ability to solve complex problems, is a delight.