About the book

Try This is a collection of forty tried and tested learning sequences, or ‘keys’, that will bring classroom learning alive. If you are a teacher seeking to plan active, engaging, rigorous and memorable learning experiences, this book is for you. All the keys use Dramatic Inquiry; an approach to teaching based on the methods of legendary educator Dorothy Heathcote. You can see a quote from her below – it’s also in the front of the book. These words really sum up how ‘creating imaginary contexts for learning’ works within Dramatic Inquiry.

“I am constantly amazed by the miracle of the way thinking about a dramatic idea can in an instant become that of carrying it into action. There is a world of difference between someone in a class saying, ‘Well they would take all their belongings with them’, and saying, ‘Let’s pack up and leave’. That is the switch I work for, to enable a dramatic exploration of ideas to take place.”

Dorothy Heathcote, Signs and Portents

Dramatic inquiry is all about learning with imagination. Instead of discussing ‘what someone might do’ or ‘how they might act’ teachers invite students to imagine themselves into the situation, and agree – just for a moment – to behave as if events are happening around them. Just as importantly, the teacher also invites students to stop, step back, reflect, critique and think about links to the real world and their own lives. Dramatic Inquiry is not simply role play, or simulation. And it’s not simply make-believe or improvisation. It is a sophisticated set of techniques and practices drawing on drama, inquiry, and powerful positioning to unlock imagination so that real learning can take place in imagined worlds.

Tim and Viv have been exploring different versions of Dramatic Inquiry – including the approach known as Mantle of the Expert – for many years. The forty keys in this book have been developed from their own teaching and research, and their work with teachers and collaborators in the UK, Aotearoa New Zealand and around the world.

Read what people are saying about TRY THIS…

“The whole concept, including the metaphor of keys, is brilliant. It is like reading your favourite recipe book, with simple instructions that anyone can follow and return to time and again.”

Whakarongo Tauranga, Associate Principal, Knighton Normal School, Hamilton, Aotearoa New Zealand

“What a stunning book this is! Will breathe life into children’s learning and joy into your teaching.”

Nicole Winter, St Nicholas C of E Primary School, Wantage, UK

Buy the book now from our website for UK orders.

For orders in Aotearoa New Zealand visit Try This sales – Aotearoa NZ