Home > Uncategorized > Role Drama/Mantle of the Expert

Role Drama/Mantle of the Expert

Mantle of the expert/process drama/role drama:

Cecily O’neil, Brian Way,  Dorothy heathcote, Gavin Bolton

  • Used to explore a problem or theme through the use of drama and other artistic means
  • Students and teachers are working in and out of role
  • Students take on roles from different perspectives

-Mantle of the Expert: students become the expert in the role they’re playing. Eg. Environmental issue:  Logging- students become expert loggers or expert environmentalists

-Usually without script but can have script

-Be clear when you are OUT of role, Say “I’m stepping out of role”

Amanda’s role drama about youth homelessness:

  • Student read about underage safe houses (in comparison of adult shelters and foster homes)so they have some background knowledge
  • Students bring in 3 artifacts that represent youth homelessness
  • Starts off with Amanda in role calling town hall meeting about opening youth homeless shelter
  • Mapping activity : purpose is to create a real environment, to give them a sense of place in this imaginary setting
  • Tableau:
  • Journal Writing about activity
  • Students would rotate through activities

Mantle of the Expert Task sheet for youth homelessness

  Activity :How does the water get from its natural source to bottling?

1.Town hall meeting- village leader calls a meeting to discuss with its residents the possibility of selling its water

2. Company meeting- Board of “Refreshing Water Company” decides to put together a research team of geologists

3. News Station- journalists discover that company is going to take water from village, reporters decide to go talk to villagers

4. Water way drawing

5. Mapping activity: villagers draw where they live in this community (include paths to water source from home etc) How do each of you get to the village? Students must choose their  profession- what do you do in the village? What does the water mean to your profession?

5.  Role drama: Day in the Life of the Village- Reporters/company geologists/community members

6. Town hall meeting

Water way drawing

Challenges: To be a good facilitator, the teacher must be very comfortable in role, and must be patient because it could take a lot of prodding with students who don’t say anything. It requires a lot of commitment to stay in role. I also think this would require a LOT of background knowledge or a lot of research so that students felt comfortable taking on a role. Even as adults, with all the life experiences, education, and background knowledge that we’ve acquired, I still felt uncomfortable with taking on a role- I felt like I was making stuff up. When you’re unsure, you feel less committed to the role which I think would take away from the effectiveness of this teaching and learning strategy. The students are, after all, suppose to feel empowered as experts. Benefits: I think if this role drama was used after a considerable amount of research/discussion and learning around the topic or issue had already taken place, then students might feel more comfortable working in role and this can be quite engaging for them. One good thing about it is that you do not have to have a conclusion to your process drama. Just the experience of being in a role and trying to understand another point of view is enriching enough.

From the clouds to the mountain snow and glacier

down into rivers and streams

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Amanda
    August 11, 2011 at 11:32 PM

    I agree that students could feel left out if they do not have enough background knowledge. It takes a good, no great facilitator to guide students in the direction of gaining new knowledge while being in role. It is very possible, just takes practice.

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