Thinking Schools Ethiopia to support Initiative Africa Project

Thinking Schools Ethiopia (Eminence Social Entrepreneurs) in collaboration with Initiative Africa has organized a two day training on thinking methodologies, reading and spelling. The training will be conducted from June 15-16, 2013 at the 4 kilo Sports and Education Center. Participants are thirty school leaders and six education Bureau officers from selected schools in Addis Ababa, Kolfe Keraniyo and Gullele sub-cities, Boset Woreda, East Shewa, Oromia and Angolela Tera Woreda, North Shewa, Amhara regions.


  • Connecting the All Children Reading Initiative with Growing Thinking Schools Ethiopia Approach for a Sustainable Initiative.


  • Multi-directional development is a belief system and model where all participants recognize their own capacity for aiding the others globally: ideas and innovation originate within and across all places globally.
  • Whole systems change involves ‘whole schools’ in implementation including all students, staff, teachers, administration and parents.
  • People must have an understanding, ‘buy-in’, and develop mastery of methods for change to root and become imbedded in the process of change.


Thinking Schools Ethiopia is a 21st century sustainable model developing educators and children who are innovative thinkers through:

  • whole school training with methodologies – a systems approach
  • training leadership team as leaders using and modeling methodologies to be the leaders and guides
  • creating models of excellence using methodologies that are research based, examples of success in the field and create models of excellence to build upon
  • creating new innovative patterns – the brain seeks patterns and to change how we teach children to be lifelong thinkers starts with the leadership and educators
  • Methods/tools that are lifelong learning tools; across all disciplines; involve and used by all levels of the community within the school and outside the school from students to adults. Reflective Questioning; Visual Tools; Collaborative Networking/Learning; Structuring Environment; Developing Dispositions; Thinking Skills
  • Collaborative training model for developing highly qualified Ethiopian facilitators/trainers
  • Ongoing Action Research
  • Criteria for achieving ‘Thinking Schools’ accreditation
  • Sustainable design

Initiative Africa:

Critically Rethinking Education

As posted online on Capital News paper,March 2012

Despite the impact education has on the values of the young and the role it plays in economic growth, Ethiopia has faced historical and cultural complications that have limited its progress.
According to UNESCO’s reviews, most people in Ethiopia feel that work is more important than education, so at a very early age labor replaces learning. Social awareness about how vital education is, is improving but still not at the required pace.
Like in many parts of the world, quality education is also an issue.
“If you go around the world you will see that education is in the same place, everybody has the same concerns, Dr. David Hyerle, told Capital.
Dr. Hyerle developed the thinking map model in 1980s, a system that nurtures and advances reading comprehension, writing skills and problem solving.
Most students do not know how to turn the information they get into knowledge because most classroom education is content based, and students simply memorize and regurgitate information to pass an exam; which does not help them become creative or think critically.  He says that is where thinking maps come in. Thinking maps are visual representations or diagrams of eight cognitive processes that include cause-and-effect, categorization, sequencing, comparing and contrasting and seeing analogies.
Now Dr. David Hyerle’s ideas are being applied at a new school which will attempt to instill creativity and critical thinking skills in students and parents as well.

Bikolos Nur Academy Director Reflects on Thinking Journey

Fatuma Ahmed • School Owner and Managing Director

By Bereket Aweke

Read the Bikolos PDF file of students, teachers, school director reflections
As the school owner and managing director of Bikolos Nur Academy in Addis Ababa, I am always interested in giving quality education for the children and youth, so I was always looking for a way to guide us to quality education. Our school motto is”we teach how to learn”, so, for us the Thinking Schools approach, especially the thinking maps and the other starting points are our guides to meet our vision. I heard about thinking school from a friend about one year back. When I heard the name “Thinking Schools” I was excited because that is the important aspect of learning, Thinking! Then I met Mr.Bereket from Thinking Schools Ethiopia and we discussed about it back and forth several times. I also checked the website and read some articles about it. The more I read about thinking schools, the more I got interested. The first time I took the training was through our school network with around 15 other schools. By then, I was convinced and believed this is the way to quality education.

After the training, immediately, I introduced Thinking schools to my school. Now, it is a month since its introduction and within this time I have seen a big change. The students are starting to think clearly and improved creativity as well as creating their own way of thinking and simplifying things.

For the teachers, the maps helped in simplifying lessons and able them to teach the students how to learn, as our motto promotes.

When I start the school seven years back we wanted to teach kids how to learn and make them lifelong learners, but we didn’t have or know the way. We know that the lessons should be student centered and active but we didn’t know the tools to do that. But after introducing Thinking Maps as part of the Thinking Schools Ethiopia approach, I can say we are teaching how to learn.

I also use the maps on my weekly meetings for example, we are using the maps to organize a students’ carnival the coming Sunday. On top of that I found the maps useful and practical in my daily activities. I am certain Thinking Maps and other Thinking Schools methods can be applied in many areas.

I have also observed after the training teachers were reflective and discussing about the maps, how they used them and the challenges they faced. This has improved interdepartmental relations and collaboration among teachers and student. We are also planning to train parents to create even a better collaboration.

Our journey has started and I am sure after go through the way, Thinking Schools Ethiopia will help us meet our mission and vision. I think this approach is the best thing for us and I believe that other schools can benefit from it but it needs dedication from leaders and school directors.