Luke Abbott studied with Dorothy Heathcote at Newcastle University in 1980/81 for his Masters Degree: At a time when mantle of the expert was being first established as a teaching and learning approach. Luke was among the first of Dr. Heathcote’s students to research moe and to begin using it systematically in the classroom.
After graduating Luke spent nine years developing his understanding of mantle of the expert at Stantonbury College, Milton Keynes, a highly innovative secondary school. He then began working as an adviser, training and supporting other teachers and educators in developing and using the approach.
In thirty years of practice Luke has taught in hundreds of schools all over the UK and abroad. His work is internationally recognized and he has been instrumental in advancing the scope and application of mantle of the expert as an innovative futures pedagogy. Luke was a consultant to the QCA on the Rose Review and is currently working for some of the time in Jiangsu, China as a curriculum special-projects adviser and in Palestine as a teacher trainer.
Tim Taylor is a teacher/trainer from Norfolk. He first saw Luke Abbott using mantle of the expert in 1995 with his class of seven year olds at Tuckswood First School in Norwich. Tim was in his first year of teaching and had been struggling to engage the children who were from diverse and challenging backgrounds. However, within a few short minutes of working with Luke the children were deeply immersed in an imaginary scenario as an emergency rescue team searching for villagers trapped inside a giant hole. For Tim, it was a revelation. At the time he had no idea how it had had happened or what Luke was doing, but he was determined from that day on to find out.
Since then Tim has researched and practiced using mantle of the expert, first in his own classroom and then later in other teacher’s classrooms. In 2004 he became an Advanced Skills Teacher. He is now works freelance, offering support and training in the use of moe.
Tim has led and participated in many professional development projects in schools across the UK. He has taught in the USA and Palestine and is a visiting lecturer at Newcastle University. He is the web manager for mantleoftheexpert.com & imaginative-inquiry.co.uk. He writes for several educational magazines and for Guardian Teacher Network.
Richard Heywood is an award winning graphic design artist. Since 2003 he has run his own graphic design company, Creative Corner. His innovative school web sites are recognised as the industry leader and he has designed websites for schools all over the UK.
Richard’s distinctive design style incorporates unique children’s artwork created by the pupils from each commissioning school. Creative Corner designed both the original and the current mantle of the expert websites.
Julia Walshaw is a teacher at Bealings School, near Woodbridge in Suffolk. She has been fascinated by Mantle of the Expert since early in her teaching career. Following her PGCE, she joined Bealings, where Luke Abbott was just starting to introduce staff to Mantle of the Expert. Early in 2004 he worked with Julia’s KS1 class in the frame of a haulage company commissioned to evacuate animals from a Baghdad zoo – Treetop Transport. Julia was amazed by the levels of engagement of the children, and from then on has been on an ongoing quest to deepen her understanding of the system.
Julia became an AST for Primary Curriculum Development in Suffolk in November 2005, specifically for Mantle of the Expert. She has worked to introduce the system to schools throughout the county, establishing successful long term training programmes for teachers – the Suffolk Mantle of the Expert Forum. As part of the national MoE team, she has led workshops at conferences in Essex, Newcastle, Norwich and London.
Iona has been engaged by the work of Dorothy Heathcote throughout her career, and was supported by her when she first started researching mantle of the expert in 1993, following her Master’s degree course. In particular, Dorothy Heathcote supported Iona in developing the original production of ‘Whats in Store’.
Iona has applied Mantle of the Expert to her own classes and also works with colleagues in other schools, to support the work. She has shared the outcomes of the work in a range of articles, for example ‘Sea Change’ a programme of work with Somali children, at key stage 1 ( Times Education al Supplement; 2008) and ‘An approach to pre 20th century text using Mantle of the Expert’ (Secondary English Magazine, 2007).
Iona currently runs the West Midland Network for Mantle of the Expert, in collaboration with teachers, tutors, professional artists, at Newman University College. She also contributes to modules and training on Mantle of the Expert at Newman to trainee teachers.
Iona has worked in a range of capacities including classroom teacher, Head of Department, Deputy Head, all in schools in challenging circumstances and as teacher trainer (her current focus).
As part of the national team and an associate adviser to Essex County Council, she has led workshops at conferences in Essex, Newcastle, Birmingham, Norwich and London and is pleased to contribute to the current development in Mantle of the Expert in Wales (her roots!)
I am a full time teacher at Recreation Road Infant School in Norwich. In 2004 I saw Luke Abbot talk about Mantle of the Expert at a Norfolk teachers’ conference. It intrigued me and seemed such an exciting way for me to move forward as a practitioner so I was thrilled to become part of a project that trained me in the use of MoE. Since then I have worked with Luke, Tim Taylor and a group of colleagues who have become a committed and transforming support group and who are still helping me to refine and improve my practice and understanding of MoE.
I have run a series of long term Mantles with my children, while developing MoE as a pedagogy of imaginative inquiry that we use throughout the school. It has totally transformed my teaching and children and parents at my school are excited and motivated by the learning it has engendered.
I am currently involved in training and supporting other teachers in Norfolk and have hosted many visitors to my school to observe MoE in action! I have run workshops at a series of National conferences and have also written articles and a research paper relating to MoE.
She became determined to further develop her understanding of how drama could be used as a tool for learning and the facilitator’s role within this. Luckily she took a weekend course at Ringsield and quite simply thought “oh, so that’s it!” and since then has been committed and determined to develop MOE within the North West.
Since then Emma has worked in partnership with schools, colleges and universities to introduce, explore and develop MOE to enhance and explore the curriculum. She is passionate about the power of drama and the theory that underpins the practice of Mantle of the Expert. She is particularly interested in the relationship between the teacher and the children and how the fictional world is created within the classroom.
Emma continues to support schools and is developing a North West Network so that schools can work together to support each other, share best practice and develop strategies for training staff.