A Reflective Interview with a Tigrai Mathematics Teacher

Thinking Schools Tigrai, Ethiopia
By Dagim Melese & Atsede Teshayou
We conducted an interview at Hitsets Primary School with the mathematics teacher Zeray Kidane.

hitsets math teacher 2Here were the interview questions and their  responses:

Q: what do you think are the powerful uses of Thinking Maps?
A: we are able to cover portions, the maps help students understand contents easily.

Q: How do you explain what you shared about Thinking Maps uses of supporting students understanding of contents?
A: for example my students were able to use the tree map for classifying triangles into different categories on the basis of their angular measurements.

hitsets math teacher 1Q: What other uses of the maps could you think of?
A:  the maps could be used as energizers . My students enjoy my class. They are always eager to learn mathematics using Thinking Maps.

Q: What do you think are the limitations of using Thinking Maps?

A: one limitation is resources, we don’t have papers and markers and students have not yet cultivated the skills of communication and working before their class mates. Students shy away, are usually less confident and are afraid of working with me before the class and sharing their works for their class mates.

htisets7Q : Why do you think that some teachers do not use the maps as effectively?
A: teachers still really feel that they have not truly taught when they use student centered pedagogies. Their belief only in the teachers centered strategies have not yet changed and this is true of myself too.

Q: What do you think needs to be done for supporting whole school implementation of Thinking Maps?
A: There has to be a leadership support. There has to be genuine conviction on the part of school leaders, there has to be a planned effort for allowing experience sharing to take place and finally follow up is key and needed very much.

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.

Tigrai, Ethiopia model school leadership teams.

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