This qualitative study explores how effective teaching is perceived and practiced in Ethiopia using a case study of Addis Ababa. The aim of the study is to identify to what extent there is a common understanding of effective teaching. This is conducted through an exploration of the experiences of different educational stakeholders including policy makers at all government levels (local, regional, federal), primary school administrators and teachers who teach upper level primary school, grades 5th to 8th. School administrators and teachers came from a total for four schools, two private and two public (government), of which one is low-resourced and one is high-resourced. This study does not attempt to provide an objective understanding of effective teaching or to tell teachers how they should teach. Rather, the aim is to stimulate educational stakeholders in Ethiopia to reflect upon their own perception by presenting them with accounts of other’s experiences. These experiences can then be used to re-conceptualization how one thinks of, acts on and interprets effective teaching. Different contexts influence on effective teaching along with constraints are also presented in order to shed light on parts of the Ethiopian education system that should be addressed. With a common understanding of the concept of and approach to effective teaching in Ethiopia, policies and communities can plan, create and sustain the required environment for quality teaching and learning to flourish.