ABSTRACT

This paper, published in the Turkish Creative Drama Journal in 2010, gives a particularly clear account of the key elements in Mantle of the Expert. In this approach, the instinct to pretend – to play – is harnessed to the specific learning goals that schools are designed to achieve. The teacher sustains the ‘as if’ behaviour of the students, modelling behaviour and attitude through selective language and signing. It is this ‘as if’ stance that changes the familiar classroom stance of thinking and learning about things to thinking from within the situation. A distinguishing characteristic of this approach is that all students work from the same point of view – the perspective of people running some form of enterprise that serves fictional clients. Students accept responsibility for responding to their clients’ needs and they become engaged in the research and skills essential to making the enterprise truthful, even though teacher and students all realize that they themselves are the creators and sustainers of the developing enterprise.