Mantle of the Expert is an education approach that uses imaginary contexts to generate purposeful and engaging activities for learning.
Within the fiction the students are cast as a team of experts working for a client on a commission. The commission is designed by the teacher to generate tasks and activities that fulfil the requirements of the client as well as create opportunities for students to study wide areas of the curriculum.
For example, a class of students are cast (within the fiction) as a team of archaeologists excavating an Egyptian tomb for the Cairo Museum. To complete the commission they research ancient Egyptian history – learning about tombs, artefacts, and rituals – and in the process study history, geography, art, design and other subjects, as well as develop their skills in reading, writing, problem solving, and inquiry.
Mantle of the Expert is not designed to teach the entire curriculum, all the time, but is rather an approach to be used selectively by the teacher along with a range of other methods.