We reached the Mayhanse Elementary School early in the morning since it would otherwise be too hot to carry out the site visit. We secured a class room for the professional development and classrooms of students for conducting the demonstration lessons.
We began the training with community building exercises (leading the group forming a circle showing patterns of bodily movements, hand patterns, creative movements with legs, hand and body). We used the hand symbols of Thinking Maps for hand shown patterns signifying the purpose of the professional development training at the site.
Then we discussed the Principles of the TSE model, research bases of Visual Tools in the areas of neuroscience and cognitive psychology. We then modeled the collegial coaching model: Briefing – Lesson – Debriefing. Atsede did a class room demonstration lesson on a content related to regional organizations and their goals.
She first modeled the use of circle map with a student . And practiced Think—Pair—Share with the students. Then she subsequently modeled the use of Bridge Map with a student before ALL the children.
Observations at the Site:
- The students are introduced with Thinking Maps at the school. They know what each thinking map is used for.
- There has already taken place professional development trainings by the school leaders themselves. There are clear evidences of efforts exerted to bring about whole school implementation of the maps.
- I was able to hear a lead student introducing Thinking Maps in another class leading students identify each of the maps by calling out loud their names.
- Beautiful leadership : we were warmly welcomed (made cups of coffee. The coffee was made by a woman who had to come where we are with her cups, other utensils from a place away from the school, bottles of water ). There was a positive leadership with a welcoming spirit. They asked about Robert Seth Price (international trainer at the previous October sessions) and why he was not with us for the site visit.
Contact Address and School Information
- Directors Name: Mebiratom Mlaw
- Total number of Teachers: 42 including leadership
- Trained Teachers : 24
- ToT Trainers : 1
- Directors Phone number : 0914155292
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.