This will not be an academic treatise. I'm a practising teacher still – learning as I go. It seems almost yesterday that some of your New Zealand colleagues were wrestling bravely with Those who sailed with Cook, copies of which are used in the Heathcote archive in Manchester Metropolitan University. Thank you for inviting me to share some thoughts regarding Mantle enterprises, as the “Cook” work initiated,[After positioning herself firmly as a teacher and emphasising that her theory emerges through her practice - DH refers back to work she did with New Zealand teachers during her trips to the country in the 1980s. Interestingly, she implies that this early work was a significant starting point for what went on to become Mantle of the Expert.]
Mantle of the Expert way of teaching is a clear system and I am slowly discovering the operant laws which underpin this style of helping students to learn in formal schooling settings. I realise that a common thread which has always run through every classroom encounter is that I operate a community point of view in which “casting for parts” has never interested me. This, from the very first classroom encounter, is instinctive. As also is the other thread – that I shall be participating as an active member of the community we shall create together. By doing this, a very seminal element emerges – that of now-immediate drama / theatre TIME, and that of creating an other’s presence for the ‘community members’ to respond to. This duality is the genetic element in Mantle of the Expert system of drama work.