Dagim Melese – Thinking Schools Ethiopia Country Trainer
Thinking School Ethiopia, part of Eminence Social Entrepreneurs, recently conducted a second phase training , a whole school staff training at school sites, for the staff of 71 educators at Cheffie Primary School on December 6 and 7 , 2014. Cheffie takes the lead as one of the ten pilot schools engaging itself in a plan of whole school transformational process in which the quality of education is advanced via facilitating the expertise of school leadership and its educators. The vibrant instructional leadership team from Cheffe plans to implement tools, strategies, and techniques its educators are equipped with entrenching it in its day to day practices. Students are already being introduced to the use of visual tools – Thinking Maps – and the teachers have began using Thinking Maps to actually facilitate students thinking and learning in their classes. Below are some participants reflections from Cheffie training.
Mathematics and Science Teacher
This training is very different from the other trainings we took. It is different in that it is practical and applicable. Some of the thinking maps have already been in use in biology now we have learned how to use them in other subjects and in such departments as social studies and language departments. More importantly, we have learned how we could educate our students without making learning boring for our students. We have taken experiences from the training. We have now learned how to better educate our students. We have seen how we actually use the thinking maps in our respective departments. We will be glad if the organization (Eminence Social Entrepreneurs) follows and monitors the implementation of what we got from the training.
This is not my first time taking this training. I took the training that was meant for the instructional leadership team of 10 selected schools at Kokebe Tsibia Primary School last June, 2014. Secondly, I took the training given to the department heads of this school by Atsede and Dagim. This is my third time taking the training with the whole teaching staff. I have learned from the training that, traditionally it was a teacher that provides contents for students .T he teacher provides information, generates ideas and thoughts without the students playing active roles but now we have seen ways of allowing students share ideas, generate thoughts on their own and actively participate in class room learning. We have seen that the training is participatory and engaging.
When I introduce the visual maps, my students were very happy. It was easy to introduce the visual maps for the students. Visual maps were also very important to engage and allow participation of students. I have observed how visual maps allow students to generate ideas on their own from many different vantage points while working in collaborative learning groups. They allow students to express their ideas freely. Visual tools allowed the participation of all kinds of learners including those who were shy and not active. The visual maps are useful for ensuring the attainment of quality education. I believe that our school is going to be able to move forward working together with Eminence Social Entrepreneurs (ESE) and achieve.
Teachers’ Professional Development Deputy Director
In the two days of Thinking Schools Training our school educators got a better understanding of their roles as facilitators of students learning and thinking. The training also addresses one of the issues of educational professional development which the government deals with is active learning and the challenges surrounding it. And it is relevant that Eminence Social Entrepreneurs provides us with support by addressing the needs of active or student centered learning. The major goal of the training is addressing teacher education needs and the challenges of implementing student/learner centered approaches. The training was extremely useful for our educators. The next step will be the follow up and monitoring of the implementation of what we got from the training. We will do this in collaboration with TSE facilitators. We will try to address the challenges of achieving quality education working in collaboration with Eminence Social Entrepreneurs (ESE).