Morda Training Day Notes May 2022

26th May 2022

Luke Abbott 

Discussion; Where we are in the training 

At this point in the training there is a conflict between the understanding of the pedagogy and practise 

Session focussing on the 9 aspects of great pedagogy 


Metaphor of ‘Robin Hood ‘ – MoE teachers like Robin Hoods men in Sherwood forest! There are ogres outside that have to be able to deal with them . Believing what we know to be true and being brave!  

Discussion about 9 aspects of great pedagogy and how MoE pedagogy encompasses these 9 aspects. 




  1. Can you come over with me . I need a bit of help- Would you be able to lay this out? Can someone cut the edges?

 ( Inductive language – attraction to the task- convivial atmosphere ) 

( comes over to large role of paper) – team help to lay out the paper roles out on the floor weighted down with stones. ( next to the paper are two other pieces of paper one with a stethoscope on and one with two large wooden and leather crucifix necklaces on them ) ICONIC Convention 15 Convention 15 involves the use of objects to represent a person’s interests, concerns, and status

  • Are you noticing anything here? – people give answers – Old and new / science verses religion/ an open ness to something to do/ I’m curious to get stuck in 
  • (Inductive language ) If this was a submarine – which is the front and which is the back? Participant  says which she thinks is the back because she can visualise the propellers 
  • Do you think you can draw some? Participant goes to get another piece of paper to draw the propellers  – Convention 9 Convention 9 is a drawing or model created in collaboration with the students. The aim is to work together with the class, incorporating their ideas and bringing them into the fiction. As the teacher works he keeps in contact with the students and pays careful attention to their levels of investment
  • Are we going to have a long short or medium submarine? Could someone draw the shape of the submarine for us- so we know? It can’t be too small. I mean we will all have to get in it. 
  • Participant brings propellers back asks ‘ Is this right?’ Luke You don’t need to ask me…you can ask the team if you like ? ( discussion about avoiding encouraging children to want to ‘please the teacher’- (Co-creation)
  • How could we get into the submarine ? Can we just make the entrance way in with our bodies standing in a circle ? ( someone says it is called the hatch.) How can we make it? Luke asks ‘How does the hatch open? ( Co-creation of the dramatic space An invitation to step into the drama – )

Discussion about demands the task put on the participants 

  • Luke asks  participants to discuss the submarine ‘ What do you make of the vehicle?’

Someone asks ‘Do we have torpedoes s? – Where are they? Participant points to two small circles on the drawing. 

  • Luke asks ‘ And the torpedoes are for……’ Inductive language -opening up to participants idea’ ‘ So we have torpedoes on our boat ( shift in language – twilight role)  . Does anyone have any worries about that? …Discussion – What might happen if they are used? 

Answers include – damage to us/ damage to landscape/ damage to others 

  1.  Luke asks ‘ Can I ask the person who drew the torpedoes when they would use them? …..Participant answers – ‘to warn off someone or something if the whales were in danger ‘
  2. Luke narrates, ‘ I’ll give you a story about our submarine ….we’re down here following the whales and keeping an eye on them. In this particular story we are not attacking – we are defending from illegal whalers who are in these waters …’ Convention 20 Convention 20 is a story told about a person, in order to bring that person close to the action.
  3. Discussion picking up on conversation / utterance and significance of ‘ illegal’ ‘whalers ‘ How do we know the difference ? legal / illegal / who are the whalers? 

Participants give ideas of people who kill whales and why- food/ natural resources for industry / chemical industry / traditional customs-

  1. Luke moves in to Twilight role – says’ Whales are whales to me…I don’t know about whales – I just eat them…We have always eaten them .  Why don’t you eat chicken’s eyes – we love it ….We don’t throw things away ….( Teacher in twilight role …as devil’s advocate. Challenging  preconceived ideas – thinking about model – where person learned to eat whale meat)  Twilight roles are one of the more subtle strategies in Mantle of the Expert and one of the most useful. They are hard to describe but when used coherently they work almost without the children noticing. Their purpose is to shift the children into the fiction and then to give them help and support
  2. Luke changes focus to the object on the paper ( ICONIC Convention 15 Convention 15 involves the use of objects to represent a person’s interests, concerns, and status)– What do you make of these objects (Stethoscope) Promotes a discussion of how this would be used – on who or what ? If used to examine a whale how would we do that under water ? Decision to need some smaller submarines- mini submarines   Do you think we might need some one who knows about medicine ? 
  3. STEP – (Participants moving into full role )– Can you represent getting into the mini submarine with the right gear as if it is happening right now  ( TASK IS IN PLAY QUADRENT) 
  4. STEP( Adding – tension and urgency )Luke narrates ‘ A whaled has been seen at the surface …..participants ideas ….something is sticking out of it….it is caught in a net….it is injured…. 
  5. Luke in role says to ‘ We have sighted an illegal whaling ship in the area’ 
  6. Luke asks teachers to imagine that a class is in front of the and use convention – Talking on short range radio – describing the situation – using voice, urgency Convention 27 Convention 27 is deliberately listening in on a conversation without being seen as in eavesdropping or surveillance
  7. Luke – asks ‘What can you tell me about the word ‘Beluga’ – Discussion – Beluga Caviar/ Beluga Airbus / Beluga whale ( activating prior knowledge) Luke says that adult (HC ) will represent the whale now. Luke has already  discussed role with an adult  ( AIR) says to adult, ‘Can you represent the whale and the problem the whale is finding itself in it this moment? ‘ AIR moves to a space and takes up a stance showing the whale Convention 4 She can, however, bring the statue to life as the statue by using Convention 4 – which is the same as Convention 3 but with the variation that the effigy can be brought into life like responses and then returned to its original form. Doing this requires the teacher to protect the internal coherence of the imaginary world by using the contingent, ‘if’, such as – “If we could talk to the statue, I wonder what it might say.”

Luke explains that in this representation this whale can speak / communicate with us if we ask it some questions. Signs AIR into space ‘What would we like to know ? Can we find out what is wrong with the whale? 

  • AIR answers questions from group ( STATUE ACTIVATED TO SPEAK )– Givens : the voice of Beluga Whale mother- pregnant / worried  about leaving pod to give  birth / won’t be able to find way back because of the noises from the humans – boats ) 
  • Luke asks participants ‘ What have we found out about her? 
  • ‘If you were living and working on this machine, what job would you do, day in and day out for the team ? Can you represent the job you do every day on this vessel ( whole team stepping into the fiction ; mapping the scene ) Can you go  into the space and take on the role showing a short video of what you do. All team show their video 
  •  Luke asks half the group to gather round out of role. – Luke says ‘ Lets have a look at what happens on the submarine ‘ 
  • Luke stops the action and asks the other team to show their  job- but offers option – Could be the same  or different ( 50/50 choice) (Frame distance change) other half asked to have a conversation  with people  doing their jobs as if they are in an official role ( ministry inspectorate ) checking the safety of the submarine. These people have been with you on the boat for the whole time. Increased focus and moving from play to more serious interaction. 
  • Luke asks everyone to come together again and asks ‘ What records would you expect to see? 


For more information on this planning model see:


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