NEW book by Viv Aitken

Real in all the ways that matter: Weaving learning across the curriculum with Mantle of the Expert by  Viv Aitken is now available, published by the New Zealand Council of Educational Research (NZCER).

The book draws on a decade of classroom practice, research and professional development in Heathcote’s Mantle of the Expert approach with teachers from all over Aotearoa New Zealand.

While firmly embedded in its local context, the book will appeal to readers around the world for the way it offers new imagery to illuminate Heathcote’s work, including the metaphor of ‘weaving’ featured on the cover.

Viv explains that the title emerged from a classroom conversation:

‘A few years ago I was teaching a Mantle of the Expert experience to a class of 9-year olds. One of the children asked whether what we were doing was real or made up and I replied, “we’re creating a story together using imagination”. The child seemed satisfied with this clarification. Just then another boy in the class spoke up:  “It’s real” he said quietly and emphatically, “in all the ways that matter.” His words capture the depth and complexity of Mantle of the Expert so perfectly I could think of no better title for this book.’

The text is wide ranging, including chapters on the history and development of Mantle of the Expert, the steps required to plan and implement a Mantle of the Expert experience, tools for enhancing teaching, tips and advice for getting started. There’s also a chapter that reviews the priorities for twenty-first century education and positioning Mantle of the Expert as a pedagogy for our times.

Real in all the ways that matter has received very positive comments from reviewers, including this from Prof Brian Edmiston (Ohio State University)

“Open this book to discover why and how you can transform your classroom with the Mantle of the Expert approach to dramatic inquiry. The theoretical sections and the descriptions of practice are as carefully created, presented, and engaging as Viv’s masterful teaching. Inquire, savor, and then share this gem with your teaching colleagues.”

And this from Tim Taylor (Mantle of the Expert UK)

Viv Aitken has written a wonderfully accessible guide to Mantle of the Expert and its application in education. Created for teachers, this book will give you everything you need to understand the approach and bring it alive in your classroom.”

Copies can be ordered from NZCER at this link. Cost is $55.00 NZ