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Do we truly recognize the crucial role of the teaching profession, which shapes the future of the next generation, and provide it with the attention it deserves?


Politecnico di Milano

Master's thesis



Service Design, User Research, Design Strategy, UX Design

Oasis Foundation : Mobilizing the Community of educators in India through Service Design to Shape their Community of Practice

The foundation proposed in my thesis serves as a facilitator for the teaching community, aiming to enhance their autonomy and agency in their professional environment. It focuses on bringing the unheard voices of educators, in the development of community strategies and growth plans. This is accomplished through platforms that foster awareness and encourage participatory engagement, connecting community members with each other and key stakeholders. 

I feel deeply motivated to choose this subject because I have witnessed my mother's lifelong dedication as a teacher. It pains me to see how this community is not receiving the care and attention it deserves. This issue has transcended local boundaries and has become a global problem that urgently requires our attention. This is a brief summary, but I invite you to read the full thesis linked on the left if you have the time.

Design process

I have used UK Design Council's double diamond model to guide my process. 

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India faces a severe teacher shortage, with high pupil-teacher ratios and numerous schools run by a single teacher, especially in rural areas. The teaching profession in India is undervalued and lacks sufficient compensation, resulting in a significant need for teachers and over a million vacancies nationwide.  
“Teachers are like a funnel used for imparting knowledge.” - Soma Mukherjee, Science Teacher
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User Research

15 people - a mix of interviews and co-design

Around 20 semi-structured conversation 


Users and Experts: Teachers | Parents | Policy Makers

“I wonder if we collaborate or coordinate! Not sure if such a practice can work in this setting. It would require motivation, space and time.” - Aneri, Teacher

“I find the workshops to be quite repetitive. I had a lasting impact from workshops that triggers self-improvement or encourage capacity building of some sort.” - Suchismita, Teacher

“Restrictions from the policy makers makes the workshops ‘microwave proof’ ready to be debriefed.” - Kanishk, Workshop designer

“Addressing teachers emotional needs and promoting their professional growth and wellbeing is crucial, as they are key skills helps them to manage their daily workload and enhancing in-class pedagogies. - Sudha Ravi, Principal

“There are so many different ways I can teach the same thing, I can engage better. But only if things were that flexible” - Soma, Teacher

“There used to be workshops to align parent's expectation with the school value system. It was good because teachers could help us understand how we can help our children at home with their studies.” - Anita, Parent


Based on the desk research and field research 3 Themes were identified as pain points and area of opportunities

Theme 01
Peer based collaboration and learning

Who: Teachers

What: Want to collaborate and learn from each other's practice.

Why: Because every teacher has their own unique ways to engage with their students and the way they approach a topic

But: Not everyone feels comfortable sharing, as some feel judged and some freeze, hence there is hesitation to engage and share

Theme 02
Learning & Development of the community through workshops

Who: Teachers

What: Mostly attend subject based workshops - which are largely microwave proof, are instantly transferable and often repetitive.

Why: It is compulsory to attend and are the only available resources

But: Would prefer more intimate and stimulative activities that would foster communities of practice which are reflective, progressive & empathetic

Theme 03
Strengthening Stakeholder Relations

Who: Teachers

What: Want stronger interpersonal relationship among stakeholders of the system and schools - flat hierarchy

Why: To provide an equal and holistic teaching environment for the educators, to better serve the learners.

But: Would prefer practices that bring balance, openness and empathy to support and contribute towards the future transformations of the system.

Research Question

How might we foster collaborative environments that empower teachers to co-design strategies for the growth and well-being of their community?


At this point I wanted to brainstorm with my users and experts. I started with an idea of a focus group, but soon enough the participants got inspired and started building scenarios. 


Participants :

Meghna - Journalist and teacher

Smita - Parent and teacher

Annie -  Training and Development NGO 

What if there was a democratic space for teachers to showcase their professional growth, collaborate and voice their community needs?

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"A world or a community where teachers have more time to be people, and therefore, be better people, to model for students." - Meghna

“Educators, parents, teachers and students inclusive is to go back, find some time to touch and play with mud and earth.” - Annie

Design Framework

Based on all the responses from the participants and the previous insights, I developed a design framework. This framework worked as a set of parameters that should be present in the solution!

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Service Response

Developed a strategic entity called The Oasis Foundation aims to create an ecosystem of educators, industry experts and other integral stakeholders to prioritise the welfare and growth of teachers, enabling them to foster a co-nurtured community.

Our mission is to co-create adaptive and dynamic frameworks with the teaching community to inspire policy makers to design teacher- welfaire policies in order to foster an enhanced learner-focused education system.

Service Methodology

Our approach is based on Service and Participatory Design principles, promoting teamwork and user involvement. We begin by identifying gaps through research, then foster collaboration and problem-solving among the user community.

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Service Offering

The service has offerings for its stakeholders as well as for its users. Both offerings, due to their interconnected nature, inform one another. For this thesis I have  focused on developing and prototyping the offerings and strategy for its users. 

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& Touchpoints

A user journey progresses alongside the service offering, unfolding in different phases. In the following section, I will present each phase, its touch points, and a stakeholder map through a hypothetical scenario.

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For an in-depth, traditional format of the user journey with greater detail, please refer to pages 90-103 in the book.
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This annual event provides an inclusive platform for teachers to come together and exchange ideas. It features a variety of talks on the future of the teaching community, welcoming other important stakeholders into the education sector. With the added elements of food and music, it creates a joyful space for all visitors, particularly for teachers, on September 5th, celebrated as Teacher's Day in India.

The Oasis Foundation considers this event crucial for gathering valuable insights to shape future engagements and identify areas for further development. Feedback from all participants is collected and incorporated into future endeavors. As a non-profit organization collaborating with the government and education ministry, this feedback helps inform responsible policy considerations.

Next steps

Phase 1

  • A pitch presentation of experience prototype for the teaching community and other stakeholders.

  • Co-design sessions would be organised for both groups.

  • The process would begin with the experience prototype, creating a scenario for the participants.

  • Co-design would then be undertaken to develop an aspirational and feasible solution.

  • Feedback from participants would be noted down, with a focus on finding a middle ground that considers everyone's perspective.

Phase 2

  • Based on the co-design outputs from the previous stage and taking into consideration various roadblocks, a reformed experience prototype will be created.

  • Another iterative co-design session will be conducted where the participants would be a mix group with users and stakeholders.
    Initiating a strong relationship with government organizations to further the project's objectives.

  • Working towards securing a substantial grant that can fund the hiring of a team to assist in the project's iteration and implementation. The grant would also facilitate building stronger relationships with our partners.

Phase 3

  • Pilot project: Organize a year-long plan of workshops followed by an event.

  • After achieving two years of success, we aim to replicate the same setup in another state, such as Maharashtra.

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