n South African Computer Journal - "I can't fall behind!" Aspirations, technology and becoming a teacher in South Africa : research article

Special issue 2
  • ISSN : 1015-7999
  • E-ISSN: 2313-7835



This article contributes a theoretical perspective on aspirations and technology in ICT4D research. The paper draws on the results of a grounded theory study to examine the aspirations for professional development of undergraduate pre-service teachers in South Africa, and the extent to which these are marked by or influence the formation of technology attitudes. It is found that the relations between professional aspirations and attitudes towards technology are fairly complex, and of mutual determination: technology is seen as a capacity enabler, instrumental in helping pre-service teachers fulfil their professional aspirations, which in turn motivates them to understand and integrate technology in their future teaching. The implications of this argument for wider ICT4D scholarship are discussed. Second, the paper argues for the potential of grounded theory as a promising methodological approach for ICT4D research, when the aim is to reveal novel perspectives for the study of relations between technology and development, favouring a local viewpoint.

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