Mantle of the Expert, and other Dramatic Pedagogies at The Ohio State University, USA

16th January 2018

Prof. Brian Edmiston

We don’t think there’s any other university department in the world with two faculty members who studied with Dorothy Heathcote. Brian Edmiston and Pat Enciso have their master’s degrees from Newcastle University, are married, and are both still using dramatic pedagogy in their professional lives both in classrooms with school-aged students and in their courses as Professors in the Department of Teaching and Learning at Ohio State!

Brian Edmiston is Professor of Drama in Education. He works primarily with classroom teachers who are graduate students. A former secondary and elementary classroom teacher he’s published four books (most recently in 2014 Transforming Teaching and Learning with Active and Dramatic Approaches: Engaging Students Across the Curriclum) and dozens of articles (some coauthored with teachers) about mantle and other uses of drama in education. He has received awards for his teaching, publication, and research. He’s currently completing: Dramatic Transformations: Dialogic Teaching and Learning with Dorothy Heathcote’s ‘Mantle of the Expert’ and ‘Commissioning’ Pedagogies

Pat Enciso is Professor of Literature, Literacy, and Equity Studies. A former President of the Literacy Research Association, she has authored dozens of articles as well as coauthoring the award-winning book Reframing Sociocultural Research on Literacy: Identity, Agency, and Power and co-editing the leading Handbook of Research on Children’s and Young Adult Literature.

Brian led the teacher education dimension and Pat spearheaded the research in a seven-year partnership between Ohio State and the Royal Shakespeare Company that trained hundreds of teachers in dozens of schools on using active and dramatic approaches to reading Shakespeare and other texts. Free workshops for teachers have continued at the university and via local and national conferences.

Drama in education has a long history at Ohio State. Dorothy Heathcote visited in the 1970’s and led a seminar in 2007. Cecily O’Neill was on the faculty for a decade in the 1980’s and 90’s and was Brian’s doctoral adviser. The 3rd IDIERI – the International Drama in Education Research Institute – was hosted by Brian, Pat, Cecily, and Christine Warner (an advisee of Cecily’s who is now a faculty member at the Ohio State regional campus in Newark).

Students at Ohio State who are undergraduates as well as in the masters and doctoral programs (including full-time and part-time teachers) can learn how to use mantle and other dramatic pedagogies in the classroom and pursue academic studies. Courses include:
– Teaching and Learning with Drama, an introductory course for undergraduate and graduate students
– A mantle course: Dramatic Inquiry Across the Curriculum
– Drama and Literacy courses

Summer Institute and Conference 2018. In June 2018 we will host the first annual Summer Institute and Conference: Revitalize Teaching, Transform Learning. The 2-day conference June 14-15 will have Linda Christensen from Rethinking Schools as a keynote speaker with practical workshops for teachers on using active and dramatic approaches across the curriculum. Four courses offered June 11 – July 3 2018 dovetail with the conference and intersect with the MA program.

Contact Brian Edmiston for more information:


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