"I'm fine where I am, but I want to do more": Exploring Teacher Aspirations in Rural Côte d'Ivoire


Vikram Kamath Cannanure (Carnegie Mellon University)
Justin Souvenir Niweteto (Carnegie Mellon University)
Yves Thierry Adji (Universite Felix Houphouet-Boigny)
Akpe Y. Hermann (Universite Felix Houphouet-Boigny)
Kaja K Jasinska (University of Delaware)
Tim Brown (Carnegie Mellon University)
Amy Ogan (Carnegie Mellon University)

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3378393.3403653

Session: 4.1. Understanding user populations

Abstract: Teachers’ impact on educational outcomes can be improved by teacher training programs but these programs are limited by poor infrastructure in rural areas. Although infrastructural challenges can be overcome by information technology today, it is unclear how such technology can support teacher training. Therefore to explore opportunities for teacher training in rural developing contexts with technology, we conducted interviews and observations with 22 primary school teachers in two regions of rural Côte d’Ivoire. We followed an aspirations-based approach that focuses on the user’s aspirations (long term desires) to help understand teachers’ intrinsic desire to grow in their professional life. We found that teacher aspirations conflict with their current role but their solidarity helps them find education role models who balance this conflict. We found that teachers face challenges in teacher training but they handle issues through their solidarity and by creating solutions. We then discuss ways to measure impact on aspirations, designing for conflicting aspirations and to leverage aspirations to create a social change in teacher training using technology.