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Real in all the ways that matter: Weaving learning across the curriculum with Mantle of the Expert

Publication date: 14 April 2021

"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."

 Prof Brian Edmiston, Ohio State University, USA.

"A powerful and important book of and for its time. How we might imagine classrooms alive with wonder and joy sits at the heart of this deeply practical book."

Prof Peter O’Connor,  University of Auckland

"This gem of a book is a timely contribution to creativity, drama and curriculum integration. From beginners to experienced teachers, all will find something that inspires within these pages. This informative book brings to life what it means to offer a challenging, ethical, and exciting curriculum for students."

 Dr Deborah Fraser, former Professor of Education, University of Waikato.

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. 

 Tim Taylor, author of Beginner’s Guide to Mantle of the Expert

Mantle of the Expert is a form of inquiry learning  developed by Dorothy Heathcote that includes drama for learning—so it’s active, embodied, imaginative, and aesthetic. It’s agentic in that it positions learners as responsible, competent co-constructors of meaning and allows them powers to influence, make decisions, and grapple with complex problems. It situates learning within authentic imagined worlds in ways that are safe and have real-world implications and meaning. It provides opportunities to develop all the key competencies and learning dispositions while facilitating deep learning across a range of curriculum areas. It fosters learning in ways that are appropriate to the cultural context of Aotearoa New Zealand, involving reciprocal teaching and learning, collaborative learning, building each other up, and the consideration of multiple perspectives and ways of knowing. It’s engaging and seriously fun!

The key audience for this book is teachers (primary, intermediate and secondary) with an interest in curriculum integration and inquiry-based approaches to learning.

Viv Aitken has been involved in education for over 25 years as a teacher, teacher educator, academic and researcher. Formerly Senior Lecturer at University of Waikato and Associate Professor at Eastern Institute of Technology, Viv is now a Ministry-accredited Facilitator with Tātai Angitu e3@ Massey. She works in schools all over New Zealand providing professional development in Dramatic Inquiry and local curriculum development.