Gohagot Elementary School – School Site Professional Development Visit

Gohagot Elementary School2Gohagot Elementary School
by Dagim Melese and Atsede Tsehayou

Dagim and Atsede facilitated professional development with Gohagot Elementary School as part of the collaboration with Tigray Development Association and the 37 model schools across Tigray. There are 24 teachers at Gohagot Elementary School. The number of teachers newly transferred to the school are 13. The school leaders include a new director and a new deputy director. Twelve teachers part of the original implementation have been transferred to new schools.

Level of implementation 
Gohagot Elementary School3Transfer of trainings have been conducted by the Trainer of Trainers (ToT). This is very important to learn about as it tells us about teachers belief about the uses and importance of visual tools as teaching strategies supporting learning across the school and content areas, and students centered tools of independent and interdependent thinking skills development.

Visual tools have been relatively better implemented by Biology, Physics, Chemistry and Langauge teachers. Focus group discussion points and responses with teachers who better tried to use as assessed by the school leaders.

Uses of Visual Tools

  • Gohagot Elementary School5pictorial presentation of lessons
  • make learning memorable
  • make learning of contents very simple
  • save time
  • useful for summarizing content
  • students’ engagement
  • make teaching clear and brief

Challenges of Using Visual Tools 

  • difficulty of portion coverage
  • high level of need of managing time
  • visual tools were not integrated in curriculum design and development

Establishing Patterns 

  • Gohagot Elementary School7number of transferred teachers, both to and from the school
  • use of visual tools as teaching aids by teachers
  • need for flexibility
  • competent
  • readily applicable uses of visual tools by all teacher


The new leaders but positive spirits in terms of leading whole school implementation (the director and deputy director have themselves been trained by teacher ToT trainers.

We were able to have a biology teacher do a demonstration lesson. The teacher was confident and effectively collaborated with Atsede in the conduct of demonstration lesson. There is a need for training on the how of collegial coaching and its’ importance for refining skills of conducting lessons and for teachers to collaboratively master implementation.

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.

Gohagot Elementary School1