NEU Mantle of the Expert Programme Weekend 1


Books, articles and websites referenced during the weekend

Ways of Seeing – John Berger – Amazon
Frame Analysis – Ervin Goffman – Amazon
The Drama of History – John Fines – Abebooks – PDF
Mantle of the Expert – Vimeo channel – Curriculum Matters
‘Learning Walk’ pro forma – Trailblazers and Advanced Practitioners

Session 1 – Using Sign and Role – The King’s Dilemma







1. Two chairs. “Which of these do you think a king would sit on?”

2. “Choose to stand near the chair you think would be the king’s.” [Has the effect of dividing the group into two].

3. Luke talks to each group separately.
– Group 1: “What do you think would make this seat the one used by an archbishop?”
– Group 2: “You’ll be seeing the king going from here to there and back again.”

Teacher in Role (TIR) using Convention 2 – Luke walks up and down pondering.

[Note: For the Conventions List refer to p.56 in the Resources section of the Course folder and p.82 of The Beginner’s Guide]

4. Talk to the TIR – “You can try talking to the King…”
(Students ask questions, TIR answers as the King.) [Students are outside the fiction]
TIR answers questions ambiguously.

[Note: For more on the ‘four projections of role’ take a look at Luke’s MA thesis.]

5. The King informs the students: “I need to bring the landowners over here to make a decision. [This foreshadow the students coming into the fiction].

6. Luke comes out of role and tells the group they are going to talk to the people in Group 1 – “I would like to introduce you to people who know a lot about the archbishop…”
– Discussion between the two groups about why group 1 thinks this chair represents the archbishop. They talk about the ‘crossed-keys’.

7. Luke: “Now it’s time to make your vowel: Will you obey the king in every circumstance?” [Foreshadowing something that is coming up, preparing the students for a tension that is to come].

8. “The landlords are over here.” Says Luke indicating with a sweep of his hand he is talking about Group 1.

– Luke switches to the King: “Name yourself a piece of land…”
– TASK: (Luke switches back to the teacher) “Have a quick conversation with each other. Where would you like you land? Which part of the country? [INVESTMENT]

[Note: Refer to the ‘Continuum of Engagement p. 59 from Resources section of the Course folder. Also this blog ‘Why earning and fun are not inimical’]

9. “Could you just stand as these landed folk”
TASK: “Could we see you opening a letter from the King.” [Convention 2] [Dramatic Action – second quarter of the circle of progression]

– Luke recites the King’s Letter [Convention 22] “Your presence is required on the 13th May at the Royal Palace…”

10. Luke divides the class into two groups – One group are in-role reading the letter, the other observing. “Open the letter with a particular point of view.”

– Talk to the observation group: “We will be looking with a particular attention…. Who would you worry about?” [Invested Action – Third quarter of the circle of progression]

[Note: Click here to read more on the The Circle of Progression (Sometimes called The Teacher Compass), also look at p.177 of Beginner’s Guide and this article.
1. Playing with ideas; 2. Dramatic action; 3. Invested action; 4. Reflection

This step builds TENSION and CONCERN.

[Note: More on Tensions – see p.46 in the Resources section of the Course folder and p.75 of The Beginner’s Guide]

Note: Luke has at this point established all the elements of story – location, time, event, people, sign, and tension.

[Note: See p.114 of The Beginner’s Guide]

11. Luke ask student to represent the archbishop (Beckett) as a painting in the King’s palace. [This is Student in-role (SIR)] [Convention 8]

[Note: See Strategies List p. 28 in the Resources section of the Course folder and p.131 of The Beginner’s Guide]

Class look at the way the archbishop is represented in the paining. There is a short discussion.

12. Luke gather everyone closer together. He then goes back into role – “By tomorrow will someone rid me of this troublesome bishop?” [TENSION] [Convention 1]

– Students go off to discuss what to do.

13. Luke starts speaking in role as if to himself (Soliloquy) [Convention 1 + Convention 25] – “Oh Thomas, why have you challenged my authority? Etc.

14. Luke bring attention to SIR standing beside the portrait of the archbishop, the SIR is representing what might be a religious statue. [Convention 3]

– Luke says: “Will someone get her speak?” [This is changing the conventions to Convention 7: now the effigy can speak and answer questions, but can not move or show emotion].

15. Luke now gathers the class together into a circle. Now back in role as king: “Let us speak.” [Class are now all in role and in Convention 1]. “What are we going to do about him? I need some answers?”
“We do not need to make him a martyr!’ [TENSION]

16. Luke talks to the SIR representing the archbishop in the painting, activating him to speak [Convention 7] – “What would the Pope say about this matter?”

17. Luke back in-role as the king approaches each member of the group and asks them directly: “King or Church? Which do you choose?” [TENSION] and now [CONCERN]

End of session







Session 2 – Three Forms of Representation – The Hole

1. Luke gathers the class together in a circle: “I just thought you might be in the mood for a major mystery… it is, I have to say, quite dangerous. Would you be up for that?”

2. Luke: “I’ve got this.” (Luke places a stick of chalk in the middle of the circle.)
“For this to work we need to create a great big jagged hole.” [Luke is creating a contract with the class, developing INTEREST].

Luke draws attention to the curriculum as the students draw: “What’s coming out here! Angles…”

3. Luke: “What do you make of that?”
– Luke listens and nods, responding: “It’s got the feeling of ice…” Etc

4. Discussion ends. Luke changes the space: “If you’re happy with this please stand.”
– Class stand around the hole.
– Luke rolls up his sleeves and starts to talk: “This is right in the middle of a bustling city… Been cordoned off… lots of people watching…”

    – Luke now switches to TIR (‘twilight role’): “It was my job, we were resurfacing the road… I came down here early, usual time – 7:00AM – and this is what I find!”
    – Luke continues: “What caused it… they want answers.” [The ‘they’ here is unexplained and is an example of ‘secondary role’).

5. Luke: “We need people who can help with this…” [Foreshadowing the Responsible Team].
– Luke continues make suggestions: “I guess we’ll need people who can…”
– A discussion follows between Luke and the class about what a team involved in this would do.6. Luke: “They call these sink holes, I think.”

– “There night be people down there…” [TENSION, CONCERN]

    – “We’re going to need a climbing team, I’m going to need to get in contact with them.”
    – “This is getting too big for me!”
    End of session.

Session 3 – Using conventions – Carpets

1. Luke: “I was looking at these carpets and having a think. What do you make off them?”
– Luke talks for a bit about the design of the carpets and how they might have been laid.

2. Luke: “The people who lay carpets [foreshadowing the responsible team]… It doesn’t loo like a a one person job, would you agree?”
– “How many do you think you would need for a building this size?”

3. Luke: “If you had one of those utility belts, what tools would you have?” [Edging the class in to the fiction].

4. Luke: “Could you check the carpet around this room?” [First TASK, developing the team].

5. Luke: “Would you be prepared to work at night?” [Developing the Tension]. “We could have those builders lights.” [This is the first time Luke has referred to the class as ‘we’, meaning the Team. The class don’t join in right away, but gradually take up the ‘mantle’.]

– Luke: “Of course we would need compensation.”

6. Luke introduces the idea of environmental concern and the ethical issues of using environmentally friendly glue and carpet materials. There is a discussion. Luke insists that other firms might be concerned more with profit, but this company take their environmental responsibilities seriously.

7. [In this step Luke switches from the ‘Inquiry’ circle to the ‘Drama’ circle, introducing the idea of the company’s brochure and the convention of people in a photograph.”
– Luke: “Imagine if we had a company brochure detailing what we stand for and the brochure contained photographs showing very clearly what we stand for.

Task: Creating a photograph from the company brochure demonstrating the company’s environmental concern.

Conventions – 8: A photograph (The role depicted in picture, made by the class). And Convention 21 – A piece of writing making the company’s position clear (A report of an event formalised by authority).

8. The class now work on creating the writing and the photograph, going through the ‘four quarters’ of the teacher compass.

[Note: The Circle of Progression (Sometimes called The Teacher Compass), also look at p.177 of Beginner’s Guide and this article. 1. Playing with ideas; 2. Dramatic action; 3. Invested action; 4. Reflection

Session ends


Session 4 – Dilemma – ‘five steps back’ – The private hospital ward’ 

1. Luke: “What I’d like to run with you is a private ‘top notch’ heart ward.”
– “When you think of something like that, what do you think of?”
– Discussion follows where some people in the class express a dislike of this context.
– Luke tries to build agreement, suggesting that when people use drama they don’t have to always agree with the morals of the people they are representing – “Could you live, just for a moment, with the notion of working in a place like this?”
– The class consent.

2. Luke: “Could you please stand up around me for a moment. Could you think of what kinds of instruments are used in a place like this… whatever knowledge you have and just talk to the person next to you.”

3. Luke: “Could you now decide if you want to be part of the operational surgical team or part of the support services.” This has the effect of splitting the class. People are asked to gather with others who work in the same teams.

4. Luke talks to himself, musing that people working here must have made ethical decisions about working in a place like this, ones they could resolve in their own minds.
– Talking to each person in the room one at a time, Luke asks what made you work here, rather than somewhere else? “I have a family; it is a well paid job; I believe in the quality of the work we do here; etc.

5. Luke: “Just for a moment could you take up the position of something you are asked to do a lot in your role in the ward.” [Convention 2]
– While the class are held still in this activity, Luke walks round activating people to speak one at a time, describing what they are doing – “Washing their hands; filling in paperwork; closing a wound; etc.”

6. Luke: “In a hospital like this there are managers.”
– [Luke switches to TIR]: “As a senior surgeon there are times when I will need to contact you…”
– [Luke comes out of role]: “Could you indicate where your pager is please.”

7. Luke talks to each group asking them to decide what sound their pager makes when it goes off.
– Each group decides on the sound.

8. Luke asks what kinds of emergencies would be serious enough to warrant the sounding of the pagers. There is a discussion – heart failure; the arrival of a donated organ; etc.

9. Luke: “could you just demonstrate, without speaking, what this bleeper means.” [Luke is inviting the groups to demonstrate, not to tell, using convention 2].
– The students demonstrate. There is some discussion.

10. Luke gathers everyone back together: “I’m going to ask you to go somewhere and you will be doing something significant in the ward, something to do with your job. On the count of 4 you will hear the signal on your pager. Is that clear?” The class nod and go off to find space. They start on their activities inside the fiction. [This is convention 1]

– Once they are ready Luke starts counting: 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 and then makes the sound of the pager. “Can you now take action!”

11. Waiving his hands, Luke gathers everyone together and begins to whisper: “There is a gunman outside demanding they be allowed to bring someone in. Someone who needs urgent treatment… they are just outside the door to the hospital… What are we going to do? They have said, they will make no allowance for mistakes.”

– There is a discussion.

12. Luke: “They are coming now!”

Session ends.

Session 5

This session on Sunday morning looks at planning and the use of Dramatic Imagination – Darkness/Light, Sound/Silence, stillness/Movement – See Using Dramatic Imagination and p.175 from Beginner’s Guide.

Here is a copy of Luke’s planning notes for this session and copy of the ‘missing poster’ for Ruby.