Mantle of the Expert

“Mantle of the Expert is an education approach that uses imaginary contexts to generate purposeful and engaging activities for learning”

At Nelson Infant School we are beginning to incorporate the Mantle of the Expert (MoE) approach to deliver our curriculum: this approach supports our vision wholeheartedly.

In a nutshell MoE is a teaching and learning approach where the class adopt an expert point of view within an imaginary scenario. For example, a mountain rescue team rescuing a stranded climber trapped on the side of a mountain. The ‘Mantle’ is the range of responsibilities, duties and roles they have as a team of experts. For example – working safely, checking equipment, planning and preparing, training for rescues, knowing the mountain terrain, advising climbers of the dangers on the mountain.

Of course, children are not real experts and would never really fly helicopters or rescue people off the side of mountains in the middle of a snow storm. However, many would like to imagine themselves doing it and this is the attraction of using MoE in the classroom. When the children agree to take the MoE they enter into the fiction as the ones who know, with the power to make choices, take decisions and influence events. But, critically they also agree to take on responsibilities, duties and roles of the expert team. It is this method of drama for learning.

We know that drama gives children something meaningful to talk and write about. At Nelson Infant we are developing the skills of powerful oracy; MoE is the perfect vessel for this. Children put themselves in someone else’s shoes: use vocabulary effectively; show empathy and emotion; and deal with tension. They can talk about the story they are constructing with the teacher.

Why use Mantle of the Expert at Nelson?

  • Pupil voice
  • Inclusion and equality
  • Long term learning outcomes
  • Range of teaching techniques
  • Assessment for learning
  • Teaching and learning theories
  • Developing higher ordered thinking and metacognition using dialogue and questioning
  • Scaffolds pupil’s learning
  • Prior learning experiences

More information about Mantle of the Expert can be found at www.mantleoftheexpert.com