The Artistic Value of Mantle of the Expert

4th February 2018

Dorothy Heathcote’s dramatic-inquiry approach to teaching and learning – a Belgian Research Project

By Bob Selderslaghs

ABSTRACT: This article gives an insight on the first results of a Belgian Research Project where Bob Selderslaghs examines the artistic value of the Mantle of the Expert approach in a Flemish primary school. He focuses on artistic roles that students can adopt while studying the curriculum

In Flanders, the Dutch speaking part of Belgium, we like to show off our international level of education. The government as well as the media tend to announce and emphasize that we belong to the absolute European top: only a few countries, mostly Scandinavian ones, are ahead of us. These bold statements are absolutely correct. But there is a flip side to that coin: we used to be able to say we belonged to the top worldwide. And PISA(1)(Program for International Student Assessment) states that our scores between 2006 and 2015 have significantly dropped in the areas of science and math. In December 2017 international research showed that the reading skills of our ten year olds are quickly sinking away(2). Suddenly the top seems out of reach: in 2006 we positioned ourselves 8th in that ranking worldwide. Today we pause at 32. In elementary school the learning area that scores the weakest is that of the arts: 49% of all Flemish primary schools don’t reach the set standards(3). And so we enter my field of expertise: the arts, and more specifically, drama.

To read the rest of this article visit:


Keep up-to-date with the latest news and projects.

Mailing List