The training descriptive that follows is part of the Thinking Schools Ethiopia Addis Ababa government schools project that includes 6 city model laboratory schools and 6 rural model laboratory schools near Addis Ababa.
by Atsede Tsehayou and Dagim Melese
co-country lead facilitators
The training with Tesfa Birihan Secondary School on the 27 November 2015, was a one day training on Thinking Maps . It involved 115 participants constituting the whole staff of the school. The participants included teachers, teacher professional development experts, deputy directors, and the support staff including accounts, store keepers, cashiers, people of the pedagogical centre. The goal of the training was to introduce whole staff with Thinking Maps and initiate whole school use with implementation of the maps in the classrooms for students and with the staff for leadership.
The training began with community building exercises (e.g. commonalities) which was followed by work on personal frames of references (which was modeled by Atsede Tsehayou, the country co-lead facilitator). Atsede collaborated with participants in the training including the vibrant educator Marta. They modeled Think – Pair – Share:
- first Teacher with Student,
- then Student with Student,
- then the whole group in pairs.
Participants were then asked to read and reflect on page 25 of the Growing Thinking School guide (a page on Comparison between Thinking and Traditional Students), and asked to share observations on the validity of the comparison given their experiences. This was later followed by a brief introduction of the Thinking School Model and communication on the emphasis of the days training: Thinking Maps .
Thinking Maps were introduced with their hand symbols. We modeled the use of one of the Thinking Maps. Subsequently participants were first asked to use general topics to be explored by all 8 maps and next organised into departments and worked on subject relevant topics .
Observations during the training include:
- Vibrant school leader – Ato Yohannes Asefa sees the value of the work and is excited to regularly collaborate with Thinking Schools Ethiopia.
- Teachers shared that one day is not enough. They said they need to master the use of the maps if they are to transfer the maps to their students. So more training in the maps for mastery was requested.
- The sub-city supervisor was accidentally there at the school where witnessed and was appreciative to see the teacher attending training on Thinking Maps as shared by the school leader Yohannes.
- The educators were serious and purposeful. They were seriously engaged and really trying to exercise using Thinking Maps.