Sensitization Workshop for Growing
Thinking Schools Ethiopia
from the Inside Out Project
Tigray Development Association
Eminence Social Entrepreneurs
Initiative Africa Collaboration

Sensitization Workshop for Growing Thinking Schools from the Inside Out Project

A TDA (Tigray Development Association) – Eminence Social Entrepreneurs – Initiative Africa Collaboration for Growing Thinking Schools in the Tigray Region.
by Dagim Melese – Thinking Schools Ethiopia Lead Trainer for Eminence Social Entrepreneurs

Tigray Development Association (TDA) conducted a project sensitization workshop on Saturday, 26 March 2015, in Tigray Regional Administration.  The project is entitled Growing Thinking Schools from the Inside Out in 36 schools representing each Tigray region’s zonal administrations.  The purpose of the workshop is to consult with key stakeholders on issues of effective implementation of the project program so as to see the adaptability, relevance, and instrumentality of the program for the school improvement needs of the education system in the region. The stakeholders included University Lecturers, Dean of Pedagogical sciences, Wereda Supervisors, Project Director, Education quality assurance specialists, Leadership of TDA and Tigray region education bureau.  Brief explanation on alignment of the Thinking School model with school improvement program GEQIP of MOE (Ministry of Education), the project’s goal, and discussion on the underlying concepts of the TSE model preceded a prominent event of the day long workshop: discussions among the participants about criteria for selection of the schools and ways of assessing the fruits of the intervention program.
download the pdf file of the project proposal / overview

Various pragmatic issues were raised and deliberated upon among the participants during the discussion.  There were also thoughts surfaced from different frames of references from the different stakeholders.  The decision on the choice of the schools to be included in the pilot project was sought to be made from the combination of reasoning derived from different and contending vantage points. The following were some of the perspectives entertained in discussion;

  1. Accessible schools – the schools should be accessible: those to and from which are laid down adequate infrastructures hence are easy to work with, follow up, reinforce, and to work on feedbacks.
  2. Schools Previous performance –   the camps included those that preferred a combination of best performing schools and weakly running schools which is thought to shed light to changes due to intervention in comparison. The other camp contends that there are already other similar intervention programs working in same zonal administration and there are also schools that had not benefited from previous intervention programs. Therefore, we should benefit the poorly functioning schools without adequately met infrastructures.
  3. Cycles/Levels of Education – This refers to the question; which level of education is the intervention appropriate? Is it in the first cycle primary education? or Junior secondary cycle ? or Secondary and College preparatory cycle ?

These were the issues the participants consulted with each other and deliberated upon. The discussions were intensely interactive, reflective, and critical from different perspectives.  Group facilitators were observed to be satisfying to their group members. The discussion finally wrapped up with integrative, inclusive and accommodative statements as regards the issues of the discussion.

Key questions that were developed by the participants in the workshop include:

  • What is expected from the project?
  • How can lessons learned be expanded?
  • How should each partner execute their roles?
  • What kind of schools should participate in the project?
  • What is expected from the project intervention?

Stage 1 Leadership Teams
The next step is the upcoming trainings for Leadership Teams (8 principals and lead teachers from each school) of the 36 model schools. The trainings will be facilitated by Thinking Schools Ethiopia Lead Trainers Atsede Tsehayou and Dagim Melese, and Thinking Schools International Global Trainer Robert Price. The trainings will be held from the 12-21 April in 3 locations: Shire, Aksum and Wukro. The schedule of the trainings is:

Group Zone Number of Woreda  in the group Number of schools Number of participants
One /Shire West 1 3 21
North West 2 6 42
Total 3 9 63
Two/Aksum Central 3 9 63
Total 4 9 63
Three/ Wukro Eastern 2 6 42
South West 1 3 21
Mekelle 1 3 21
South 2 6 42
Total 6 18 126
cluster supervisor 12
cluster supervisor 36
Total participants 262


Stage 2 Whole Schools
Trainings will be whole school trainings facilitated by the leadership teams and a Thinking Schools Ethiopia lead trainer.

Stage 3 Site Visits
This will be followed by regular site visits by Thinking Schools Ethiopia trainers to facilitate professional development and model best practices with demonstration lessons with students.

Video for Reflective Practices, Models of Excellence, Action Research
Video will also be used to capture models of excellence by teachers to share between the 36 model schools.

Trainer of Trainers
Thinking Schools Ethiopia trainers will be trained from Tigray Education Bureau, model schools and Tigray Development Association to assure ongoing growth and the sustainability of Thinking Schools Ethiopia in collaboration with TDA.

Universities and Accreditation
Universities will provide accreditation of Thinking Schools as a reflective practice while building a body of action research to learn and grow the Thinking Schools model. In the Tigray region Mekelle and Aksum Universities will be collaborative partners.
download the pdf file

Read the Proposal for the collaboration with Tigray Development Association, Thinking Schools Ethiopia, Thinking Schools International and Initiative Africa (administering the grant).
download the pdf file

Read the Thinking Schools Accreditation Process.
download the pdf file