Introducing MoE

What is moe?

Dorothy HeathcoteA brief overview: The Mantle of the Expert is a dramatic-inquiry based approach to teaching and learning invented and developed by Professor Dorothy Heathcote at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in the 1980’s. The big idea is that the class do all their curriculum work as if they are an imagined group of experts.

They might be scientists in a laboratory or archaeologists excavating a tomb, or a rescue team at the scene of a disaster. They might be running a removal company, or a factory, or a shop, or a space station or a French resistance group.

Because they behave ‘as if they are experts’, the children are working from a specific point of view as they explore their learning and this brings special responsibilities, language needs and social behaviours.

Let us be clear: the children are not putting on a play or running a business. They are simply being asked to agree, for a time, to imagine themselves as a group of scientists, archaeologists or librarians with jobs and responsibilities.

Through activities and tasks, the children gradually take on some of the same kinds of responsibilities, problems and challenges that real archaeologists, scientists and librarians might do in the real world.

For a more detailed introduction read Viv Aitken: “Dorothy heathcote’s mantle of the expert approach to teaching and Learning: a Brief introduction”  Ch. 3 from Connecting Curriculum, Linking Learning