Pathways to Thinking Schools
Chapter on Thinking Schools Ethiopia

Country: Thinking Schools Ethiopia (Chapter 11)
Pathways to Thinking Schools • Edited by David Hyerle and Larry Alper
Corwin Press • 2014

Some of the early results of the Thinking Schools Ethiopia approach offers an “outside-the-box” view of change that might catalyze change with other nations caught “inside the box” of educational traditions that have become calcified. This is because the design is framed by the idea of collaborative development. What does this mean? International development conventionally involves first-world “developed” countries extending various forms of support to third-world countries in a unilateral relationship. Aid in the way of financial funding, scientific, and intellectual innovations often flow in one direction only, as if peoples with different cultures and who simply have less industrial and/or scientifical development do not have insights into human development. Resources and capacity in development are understood within existing structures as being only in the hands of industrialized nations. Human capacity for innovation and other human resources are often overlooked or devalued.

A model of “multidirectional collaborative development” shifts this assumption and belief system to one where all participants recognize their own capacity for aiding others. Expertise is surfaced, shared, translated, and adapted to other contexts for each partner to use as they determine what is appropriate. Examples might be in environmental protection, education, agricultural sustainability, nutrition, and leadership. If the “world is flat” as Thomas Friedman (2005) has proposed, perhaps the potential of real systems change and innovation might evolve in a seemingly unlikely place (or in reality, likely) as Ethiopia if there is a two-way, leveled collaboration.

An essential dimension of the Thinking Schools approach in Ethiopia and in projects in other parts of the world, such as the country-wide implementation in Malaysia as described in Chapter 1 by David Hyerle, is the effort to network different projects and thus gain not only multidirectional development but also multidirectional knowledge creation and development. Given its history of independence and successful commitment to raising literacy levels, perhaps Ethiopia is an ideal place to begin such an ambitious effort.

Read the whole chapter: Chapter 11 – Country – Thinking Schools Ethiopia (pdf)

“In a global community, countries recognize reciprocal interests and the need and benefit of interdependence. Therefore, this new paradigm of a global community calls for Thinking Schools internationally.”
—Yvette Jackson, Chief Executive Officer
National Urban Alliance
Read the complete forward from Pathways to Thinking Schools by Yvette Jackson (pdf)

Pathways to Thinking Schools – more about the recently published book:
Give students the essential thinking skills they need to thrive.
Content-focused teaching may yield marginal improvements in test scores, but leaves students without the cognitive skills and dispositions for success in an information-overloaded world that requires deep thinking, collaborative problem solving, and emotional intelligence.

David Hyerle has brought exciting models for enabling students to drive their own thinking and learning to schools in every corner of the world, with outstanding results. In this book, Hyerle presents case studies of schools and educators who have applied these models, in some cases system-wide, to ensure every student can thrive in an increasingly complex future. Among his powerful concepts for short and long-term improvement are:

  • Visual Tools for Thinking—The nonlinguistic tools that have made Hyerle’s famous “Thinking Maps” model so successful
  • Dispositions for Mindfulness—a language for students to improve their intellectual-emotional behaviors as they learn
  • Questioning for Inquiry—A system for developing students’ abilities to ask questions in the context of a developing Community of Inquiry, including the use of Bloom’s revised Taxonomy and the Six Hats Thinking® model

Ultimately, Pathways to Thinking Schools synthesizes the potential of smart content-based teaching  with the powerful thinking skills and dispositions that supercharge the educational experience.

Read more about the book online.

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