Whole School Change—Whole School System Transformation

Addis Ababa Education Bureau — Thinking Schools Ethiopia Collaborative Model

Thinking Schools Overview
Thinking Schools Ethiopia (TSE) has been collaborating with educators and schools in Ethiopia for the past three years using thinking skills that are student centered life long thinking skills for all students, teachers and leadership in the whole school community.

Thinking Schools Ethiopia (TSE) is a student centered approach providing thinking methods for all disciplines and grade levels in schools (K-12 + university) and as a life long learner. The approach provides a common visual language to explore, discover and learn in a collaborative environment that supports and sustains the creativity and innovation of the whole school educational community. Specifically the focus of Thinking Schools Ethiopia is using the Six Starting Points for Thinking, research based methods including:

  1. Reflective Questioning high quality questioning and listening skills (e.g. shared inquiry, questioning for inquiry)
  2. Thinking Skills explicit use of cognitive processes
  3. Visual Mapping the use of visual tools to map out ideas. (e.g. Thinking Maps).
  4. Collaborative Networking between us in pairs, groups, schools, and global networks that includes collaborative learning; collegial coaching
  5. Developing Dispositions characteristics, dispositions, and Habits of Mind are engaged
  6. Structuring a Thinking Environment considering how the physical space is organize and resources used

The Six Starting Points for Thinking are life long skills for use with problem solving in school, life and work. Thinking Schools International projects currently include over 500 UK schools; a whole country project in Malaysia; and additional projects in South Africa, USA, India, Thailand, and other countries. Thinking Schools International has experience in implementation on a school by school basis as well as whole country (iThink in Malaysia).

How is it different from existing approaches?
The Thinking Schools Ethiopia (TSE) approach is a whole school systems approach that building capacity inside out developing a foundation that is reflective, sustainable, collaborative and replicable. TSE is part of a greater global collaboration that supports multi-directional development. 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. The Thinking Schools Ethiopia training uses research based thinking methods that are life long skills for use with problem solving in school, life and work.

The Thinking Schools Ethiopia model is implemented in a scaffolding model to build expertise and capacity within the whole school and the school system. This includes both the methodologies as a common way of thinking and the people with their pedagogical practice. This includes Leadership training as a key part of the whole school change of transformational design.

The initial Growing Thinking Schools Inside Out Training uses the Six Starting Points for Thinking as a process to develop understanding and a plan. Thinking Maps are a key method used in the initial training with significant use of collaborative learning, reflective questioning, structuring environment.

The training begins with building capacity with the AAEB Experts team to work collaboratively with the TSI Global Trainers and the TSE Lead Facilitators. Then the capacity is built within school principals and supervisors who train school leadership teams. The whole school staff then works collaboratively under the guidance of the leadership team. Teams of educators continue to work collaboratively at the sub-city level.

Read the plan (download pdf file).