Why do I love Mantle of the Expert? Well for a start it bothers me. I spend days reading about it, nights pondering and tweets tweeting as I recognise that to become a master of this stuff is where both the challenge and the fun lies. I, like most people who engage with it, am a firm believer that it is one of the most power tools that can be utilized in a classroom. It offers the children so much but also demands so much in a safe way. It is also about what it offers to the teacher. As a trainer this is great but not that good as a business model as what it does is offer the teachers a secure scaffold to structure the explorations in the classroom! It means that the training and understanding of MOE leaves the teachers with the ‘why’ but importantly the ‘how’ and I hate to say it but I think this is seriously lacking in other creative curriculums which are more business than creativity. Even the plans offered for MOE are starters, ideas, ways in and aim to prompt the teachers own creativity rather than dictate. The greatest compliment an MOE trainer can get is that you only need us to pop in and support the development as we essentially become redundant because the teachers find their own creativity, their own skills, their own ways of using this pedagogy. Dorothy Heathcote gives it all away for free on http://www.mantleoftheexpert.co.uk. If you are interested in this than yes you need training, yes you need demonstrations in the classroom, support to plan etc but once you have got hold of it you also take charge of your own learning. It challenges the teacher to be creative and engages them in finding the story, the hooks, the lure (Oops, Learning Accidently, H Roberts) so learning, inquiry, questioning and pondering is shared between child and adult.
Its hard work. Let’s not lie. Yes it takes a while to crack it but then its a creative pedagogy backed and researched, tried and tested over 40 years. It is a pedagogy but surely as teachers we should be up for a challenge, up for learning, up for revelations. One teacher once said to me after a training “This is all very well and good but its not really me.” Of course we all have our own style and there will be nuances and variations to each teacher however isn’t it about the children? Its all very well and good but does it suit your children? I would argue yes to any setting. There is a reason I can walk in to any classroom and an MOE session works. Its because it has been throughly explored, the structures, conventions, strategies are given. The scaffold is totally rock solid. Its not me, its Mantle!