May 252016
 

Semema13
Thinking Schools Tigrai, Ethiopia
By Dagim Melese & Atsede Teshayou
Semema4Semema Secondary School is a school with 47 teachers, of whom 29 were at the training in October. We began the day with a professional development session in which we discussed the Principles of TSE, research basis of the use of visual tools and research outcomes of whole school implementation of Thinking Maps.

Video clip of Thinking Schools Ethiopia trainers Atsede Tsehayou, Dagim Melese and Robert Seth Price facilitating the Trainer of Trainers (ToT) who are facilitating their whole schools including the school in this posting. The training was in October 2015.

Initially we modeled Collegial Coaching where we did briefing, conducted lessons in classrooms with students, followed by a debriefing with all the Semema10participating teachers. During the briefing we shared our lesson plan, the pedagogical strategies we will be employing during the demonstration lesson, and what we want the teachers to observe. We asked them to record their observations, thoughts and questions. During the demonstration lessons, I used community building exercises with the students, modeled the use of circle map with a student, asked students to work in pairs, gave time for sharing groups works to whole group, used questioning that call for elaboration by students, citing examples by them, and clarifying concepts and consolidated a lesson.

Semema2

The goal of the demonstration lesson was for sharing strategies of Semema12transferring Thinking Maps to students by ALL teachers. Helping teachers see how powerful is working on thinking maps to organize thinking with content as tools for ensuring student engagement in class room learning. In order to show how deep, rich, detailed, panoramic the information, thoughts and ideas of students can be when supported with Thinking Maps. Semema9How effective students and students’ transfer between each other and of information can be.

As we travel towards Humera (a hot- dry location) we have seen that it will be effective if we employ strategies of collaborative learning groups to demonstrate for example that we have natural gifts of thinking in many different ways, active transfer of thinking processes to content learning is key and student cantered pedagogies are needed for improving thinking skills.

Semema1

Thinking Schools Ethiopia – Tigray is a collaboration of Tigray Development Association and Thinking Foundation for 37 model schools in 12 Woredas located in all  7 zonal administrations with funding administered by Initiative Africa for a Girl’s Empowerment Whole School Change grant from Sida (Swedish Development Agency) that began as a grass roots project by Robert Seth Price along with lead country trainers Atsede Tsehayou and Dagim Melese. Read the chapter on Ethiopia in the Corwin Press book Pathways to Thinking Schools.

 Posted by at 12:15 pm
May 212016
 

wukiro3
Thinking Schools Tigrai, Ethiopia
By Dagim Melese & Atsede Teshayou

wukiro1Wukiro Mariya Secondary School in the Tigray region of Ethiopia has 85 teachers, with 34 of them having attended the October training with Thinking Schools Ethiopia. There are two TSE Trainer of Trainers at the school. Mulugeta Nigus is the director and Ashebir Weluthe deputy director.

We started the day with community building exercises which was subsequently followed by the mini- professional development session in which we discussed and reflected on three principles of the TSE model and the research bases of the use of visual tools. We then modeled collegial coaching in which we showed how teachers in same departments learn from one another from practicing the use of the Thinking Maps in real classrooms.

wukiro10
wukiro9We showed our flow map of the lesson I facilitated on evolution in 12th Grade. I began with a community building exercise in the class room (pass, bounce, throw for a friend an imaginary basket ball in the classroom), then modeled the use of circle maps for exploring information, thoughts, ideas on evolution with a student (modeling think-pair-share). Then we had students to work in pairs , and share their works to whole group in which I used questioning that call for students elaboration of information and ideas while surfacing their own frames of references. Four students shared their works almost ALL of them shared high quality information. The students were really moving and great to collaborate with.

wukiro4In the discussion with the directors we emphasize the need carry out transferring the maps to ALL students of the schools. We suggested posting maps on walls of ALL class rooms. Integrating Thinking Maps both in annual plans and daily lesson plans. And exercising collegial coaching in each departments. The debriefing with teachers after demonstration lessons was done in the principals office with the director and deputy directors. Ato Mulugeta Nigus (the schools director) facilitated scheduling for teachers of the day, rooms for professional development and rooms for demonstration lesson in his role of leadership.

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Thinking Schools Ethiopia – Tigray is a collaboration of Tigray Development Association and Thinking Foundation for 37 model schools in 12 Woredas located in all  7 zonal administrations with funding administered by Initiative Africa for a Girl’s Empowerment Whole School Change grant from Sida (Swedish Development Agency) that began as a grass roots project by Robert Seth Price along with lead country trainers Atsede Tsehayou and Dagim Melese. Read the chapter on Ethiopia in the Corwin Press book Pathways to Thinking Schools.

 Posted by at 11:40 am
May 172016
 

Dahire Hafrash1
Thinking Schools Tigrai, Ethiopia
By Dagim Melese & Atsede Teshayou

Dahire Hafrash7Today’s site visit to Dahire Hafrash Secondary School is a drive from Aksum traversing small villages after driving along the sides of mountains and rugged terrain.

Dahire Hafrash is a name of the site where The People’s Liberation Front fighter summoned and conducted meetings during a time period they were seen by the Derg regime as rebels and gorilla fighters. The name initially meant a site for leaders of the oppositions summoned and consulted on major political issues later it was changed to mean a site where not leaders but the people consulted on matters that relate to change of the existing political order.

Dahire Hafrash Secondary School has 26 of whom 15 participated in previous Thinking Schools trainings in Aksum. The school has 2 Trainer of Trainers who’ve received professional development with Thinking Schools in both Wukro and Aksum.

Dahire Hafrash10

We began the professional development with community building exercises with leading the group showing alternately changing hand, body, leg patterns giving turns for participants, counting natural numbers interrupted by the word Thinking Maps said out loud in stead of naming every 5th,10th,15th,20th,25th,… Numbers. We then asked participants to reflectively think about the community building exercises (asked for observations, questions, comments which we reinforced and richly discussed). Then we Dahire Hafrash14discussed about the fundamental principles of the TSE model, brain research bases of visual tools, and research outcomes of the practices of using visual mapping.

Subsequently we modeled a collegial coaching device for conducting class room demonstration of lesson. We shared how colleagues could use the collegial coaching model to learn from one another and ever refine their practices. We discussed about observations skills while demonstration  lessons are conducted. We asked the following reflective questions ;

  1. What do we observe while being exposed to a demo. lesson?
  2. Is there such a demo. Lesson that is without defect or need for refinement?
Atsede and Dagim

Atsede and Dagim

We discussed about the above questions. Then we did a demo lesson with students of grade 9. We modeled the use of circle map to demonstrate holistic panoramic thinking about the concept of environment. We modeled the sequential process of Teacher-Student, Student-Student, whole group working in pairs and then finally whole group shared with some of the maps.

  • A student observed sharing a very rich information about the environment during which we posed several question that call for explanations and discussions of the information he provided.
  • Students shared what they have recorded inside the circle and then explained them when we asked them for further elaboration.

Dahire Hafrash4So the purpose of the demonstration lesson was to model how the transfer of Thinking Maps to students could be effected.

Making Thinking Maps languages a visual alphabet among students, and seeing students demonstrating expert uses of ALL eight maps requires the processes of introducing them, modeling before them expert uses of Thinking Maps, giving them time for processing for effecting understanding.

ethiopia-tigray-visual3Thinking Schools Ethiopia – Tigray is a collaboration of Tigray Development Association and Thinking Foundation for 37 model schools in 12 Woredas located in all  7 zonal administrations with funding administered by Initiative Africa for a Girl’s Empowerment Whole School Change grant from Sida (Swedish Development Agency) that began as a grass roots project by Robert Seth Price along with lead country trainers Atsede Tsehayou and Dagim Melese. Read the chapter on Ethiopia in the Corwin Press book Pathways to Thinking Schools.

Dahire Hafrash2

 

 

 

 Posted by at 10:45 pm
May 162016
 

Inticho3
Thinking Schools Tigrai, Ethiopia
By Dagim Melese & Atsede Teshayou

Inticho12This posting is to share our start of the second round of first school site visits. We collaborated with the large staff at a high school named Inticho Secondary School. We were at the school site early in the morning for a meeting with the school leader Ato Dawit T/Medihin. Ato Dawit and a teacher are the school’s Trainer of Trainers.

There are 91 teachers teaching in the high school of whom 38 teachers who had taken part in the Thinking Maps professional development training Atsede Tsehayou, Dagim Melese, and Robert Seth Price facilitated. These trainings included Trainer of Trainers professional development, followed by further trainings that had the Trainer of Trainers leading their schools.

Inticho14

The sequence of activities we did was:

  • Inticho7We did the mini-professional development sessions (discussed fundamental principles of the TSE model, brain research bases of Thinking Maps, research outcomes of the actual use of Thinking Maps and other pedagogical tools and strategies). There were two mini-professional development sessions: one in the morning and a second mini-professional development training for teachers in the afternoon so all teachers could participate.
  • We did classroom demonstration lessons (demo of how Thinking Maps are transferred to students; use of circle map to brainstorm information, and modeling ideas about plants with the teacher and student, then student and student and then whole groups).

Inticho2

Inticho13Teachers in Amharic department of the school for examples have been trying to construct maps of contents in syllabi the different grade levels they teach and discussing about the precision of the use of the maps (see the Interview with Teacher Saba Beyene, a female Amharic teacher).

Atsede did also interview two other teachers of the school. She will be sharing of her interview questions and responses recorded.

Teacher Saba Beyene

Atsede: How did you use Thinking Maps in your subject?

Saba: We often use them in literature. My students use them for narrating a story (they use the Flow Map). We also show them using Double Bubble maps for comparing and contrasting different kinds of writing /literature.

Inticho1I usually use the Bridge Map for vocabulary development. For example opposite words: tall is the opposite of short as fat is the opposite of thin as big is the opposite of small as light is the opposite of dark (translation is mine). And opposite sexes of animals ox is a male cattle as cow is its female counter part as …. (translation is mine).

Teacher Saba also asked me a question about the correct use of brace map to which I replied: brace maps is meant for seeing whole-parts relationship of physical objects that is how it is different from tree maps which is used with the categorization abstract concepts.

Teacher Saba is working on writing a book that essentially uses Thinking Maps for illustration of decoding the patterns of thoughts in the linear text structures the constitute the notes under different categories of contents.

Inticho4During our conversations with Teacher Saba (an Amharic teacher at the school), we were informed that the teachers at the school purposefully chose a class ( a laboratory class ) where all of the teachers implement Thinking Maps working with the students. Teacher Saba mentioned that the students were introduced with Thinking Maps and were supported by their teachers in their exercises of the use of the maps with contents . It is remembered that teacher Saba is preparing a book where Thinking Maps are used essentially to decode the thought processes embedded in the linear texts making up content knowledge of the chapters a syllabi incorporates.

Thinking Schools EthiopiaInticho8 – Tigray is a collaboration of Tigray Development Association and Thinking Foundation for 37 model schools in 12 Woredas located in all  7 zonal administrations with funding administered by Initiative Africa for a Girl’s Empowerment Whole School Change grant from Sida (Swedish Development Agency) that began as a grass roots project by Robert Seth Price along with lead country trainers Atsede Tsehayou and Dagim Melese. Read the chapter on Ethiopia in the Corwin Press book Pathways to Thinking Schools

Inticho9Inticho6

 Posted by at 3:47 pm