Menkere and Zata Primary Schools
Thinking Schools Ethiopia – Tigray
Phase 3
School Site Visits
Professional Development



Menkere and Zata Primary Schools
By Dagim Melese and Atsede Teshayou
Photos and Video by Atsede Tsehayou and Dagim Melese

menkere-zata2Our site visits continued with Menkere and Zata primary schools along with my co-country Thinking Schools Ethiopia trainer Atsede Tsehayou. A total number of 28 teachers teach at Menkere Primary School with a focus on the continual training of the use of Thinking Maps in the classrooms. We saw the need to do a brief professional development training for the educators. Brief review of the principles of the Thinking Schools Ethiopia (TSE) model was followed by discussion on research basis of Visual Tools (Thinking Maps). Atsede modelled collegial coaching with the teachers. This model has teachers observing a short lesson by a peer teacher. They observe positive aspects of the lesson and also write down questions to share at the debriefing. Atsede shared the plan of her demo lesson (sequence of the lesson). She followed the briefing by doing her demo lesson before all the educators. She then facilitated a debriefing after the demo lesson where teachers shared their positive observations and questions.

Key Points and Outcomes 
menkere-zata16Key points that constituted shared understanding we all reached at the end of the day were:

  • The urgency with which Thinking Maps need to be transferred to students.
    —post them on walls
    —model using them in the class room
  • Facilitate conditions  for students so as to support them using Thinking Maps creatively in their classroom assignments, home works, and with projects.
  • Share best practices amongst one another
  • learn from each other experimenting demo lessons and refining practices .









The Thinking Schools Ethiopia project in Tigray is a collaboration with Tigray Development Association (TDA) and Thinking Foundation supported by funding administered by Initiative Africa and granted by Sida (Swedish Development Agency). Read more at the Tigray Development Association website, Initiative Africa website and Thinking Foundation website.


menkere-zata10From this training I was able to gain knowledge on how to enhance student participation, how to encourage critical thinking. I am inspired to make more effort after I went to my school. However I beg you to continue such trainings.
Haftom Zenebe – primary school teacher

It was very helpful training where I have been able to gain new perspective of what thinking is and how to encourage it. I believe this should continually happen.
Meresiet –  primary school teacher

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.


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