Research Topic: Engaging and responding to local voices: the case of children’s schooling in rural Ethiopia and the implication for development theory and practices.
I joined the School of Education, Bristol in January of 2017 as a Global Challenges Research Fund Postdoctoral scholar – ESRC. Before that I worked as a Research Associate in Department of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Bristol and as Teaching Fellow in Department of Education at the University of Bath.
Through the GCRF Postdoctoral Fellowship, I am mainly focused on dissemination of my PhD work, which was interested in challenging the ‘labelling’ and deficit ways that rural people in the global South (especially children and women) are represented in the literature. Instead, my work sought to learn from their own perspectives (children, parents, teachers etc.) within rural communities.
Through the GCRF, I’m hoping to engage more with my participants, but I also recognise that some of the people that live in the areas I’ve been researching will not read my publications or thesis. Overcoming such real barriers to engage and communicate my findings is one of my primary objective through the ESRC- GCRF Fellowship. Tapping to the oral tradition, I’m producing a short teaser films to communicate some of my findings with communities, children and parents. I am also engaging with teachers and prospective teachers, to show the embeddedness of teachers, school systems and policies within outcomes related to dropout, enrolment, and access to schools. I hope to use film and similar resources to raise consciousness on the school level and community level, but also hopefully, resources that can speak to those at the policy level. This is exciting and valuable project with tangible impact that is already exceeding my expectation for what can be achieved in a short post-doc.
My academic work also informs my voluntary work with For-Ethiopia, a charity which works in rural Ethiopia. I have the opportunity to draw from my research to shape some of the intervention work in areas of rural girl’s education, reproductive health and quality education and learning.
Mentor/s: Professor Leon Tikly
Website / Blog: www.for-ethiopia.com