Pandora’s Box 2:
Looking into Mantle of the Expert, I have come across a very interesting bit of research by Ms. Caroline Stamp-Dod, “A critical evaluation of ‘Mantle of the Expert’ as a teaching and learning approach, based on pupil and practitioner opinion“ which aims to examine Mantle of the Expert contextual drama approach at an actual school.
Though very small scale, this paper points to some interesting issues when adopting MoE. Over the next couple of posts I intend to share some of the many thoughts it inspires on the integration of Mantle of the Expert with Cooperative Learning. As Ms. Lewis pointed out in her comment, MoE is an all inclusive system which integrates class organization; and yet, coming from a challenged learning environment, my concern is that implementing MoE demands a great deal of surplus energy the students and teachers, and as such, struggling schools would, unnecessarily and a tragic loss based on what I have come to know(!), decide to pass over MoE, as the adoption is simply too demanding and learning outcomes seem too far into the future to warrant the effort. In Ms. Stamp-Dod’s own words: “…there are major implications for any school or teacher brave enough to use MoE as a teaching and learning approach….“
In the following posts, collectively titled “Margin notes; a Cooperative Learning gloss on a MoE case study“, I will provide a CL teacher’s reflections, not as a challenge (which sometimes discussions between teachers passionate about their methods), but as an attempt at cross-fertilization. Even if the discussion remains theoretical, I hope it might inspire those who – as I do – see the power of MoE, but might perhaps be daunted by the thought of loosing control in the transition – such as a less than ideal learning environment. If anyone is ready to pick it up and work it into an actual classroom experiment, then all the better.