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Starting Mantle of the Expert

It has been an exciting start to week 1 of Term 2 because we are doing Mantle of the Expert with 60 students! (Click here for more info about MOTE!)

At Rolleston College, we work within connected learning groups. Four teachers to a group of about 60 learners, creating meaningful contexts for learning that naturally bring together the subjects that would 'traditionally' be taught separately.

This week we have started a Mantle of the Expert journey with our learners, and introducing four other teachers to the magic that is MOTE.

Simply put, MOTE is about how you frame the class and how you approach learning. The class are the experts. They are a company with an established history of excellence.  They work for a client, and the client provides them commissions to complete. In doing this, it changes the way learners approach a task - it creates meaning in their work, it provides problems to be solved and they are framed in a positive, affirming, expert role.

I was nervous going into this week. I've never worked with a group of 60 and this is the first time the teaching group I am with have worked within MOTE. I didn't need to be.

On arriving in class, the learners were welcomed back to the office and informed they had a voice mail from the CEO. They listened carefully to hear that there was a mistake in the labs, their latest commission had been dropped by the intern and they had to put it back together to arrive by the deadline to ensure we don't lose the respect and credibility we have as a highly regarded company.

The mess the intern left
The students arrived and met the TIR as the science technician who was there to assist them, and they quickly got to work in four different labs analyzing the mess, reading the display information and working out where everything was meant to be. They created a visual catalogue of all the items, with details about each (the intern also lost all the paperwork), created a diagram of the display and also created certificates of authenticity.
A final display ready to be sent to the Muesum

The following day we started looking at who we might be as a company. Ms Pittstop, from HR, came in and informed the company that the buzz from the most recent display they created needs to be built on and we need some new advertising. The company devised and filmed advertisement that demonstrated some of our products, our finds, our level of commitment to security and repeated that we are a highly trustworthy and reliable company.

We created our office spaces by listing the spaces we needed, then drawing one item in our favorite space. We joined together and put these objects into the space, creating floor plans of the different areas. This is something that we will come back to and develop further later this week.

We discussed our history as a company. We recreated some of the piviotal moments in our history, some of the most important in our history. There were interviews on Ellen, that time we discovered an unheard of creature, when we had a TV show...

After some discussion around our values, and then deciding the best way that 60 of us could have a say in the company name, we voted and we are BEAUTY AND THE FOSSIL

I am loving moving around the space and seeing the majority of students really buying into the world of the company. We have some belief building to work on before receiving our next commissions, however, there is a buzz in the air when students are devising and creating the scenes that define their company. 

There has been some quick discussions and moving around of activities - and that is how MOTE is. You need to respond to what the learners suggest and pick up what they are putting down, then run with it! It will be interesting to see how tomorrow goes when we go back to our office spaces, do some writing in role and start creating further the world of our company. 


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Creating the world

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With 60 students, I was really worried about how we would build the office spaces and further develop belief in the world we are creating. Luckily, there was testing on for half the group in two blocks. So, for 45 minute blocks we could work with just 30 students on further building belief. This made this far more manageable and I'm not sure that this same approach would have worked with 60 students...

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To summarize our MOTE;

Hook: interned messes up, put the display put in order to send offCompany Creation: created office space, wrote about our first day on the job, created artifacts of the company (logo, business cards, vehicle design, website)History of the Company: advertisements, interviews from our successful history Mini commission: write lesson plans to accompany the display sent awayCommission One: create a road show that explores continental drift. We trailed our ideas on local years 6-8 students and gained their feedback. We used this to do some data analysis. Commission Two: Create a bus stop poster that is informative and interactive showing Polynesian Journey to NZ Wrap up: imagine you are at the bus stop, what is your reaction to this poster. Write a short social media post in role as the company to ho…