Time Lapse: Cross-Cultural Transition in Cognitive and Technological Aspects - The Case of Ethiopian Adult Immigrants in Israel

By Yarden Fanta-Vagenshtein and David Chen.

Published by The Organization Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The purpose of this study is to examine the cognitive aspects of technological literacy of Ethiopian immigrants and their learning stratocracy for adjustment to daily life.
Immigration is a common phenomenon in the modern world. In most instances, individuals or small groups assimilate gradually into the new culture, even if they are illiterate. In the case of Ethiopian Jewish immigrants to Israel, an entire community was transferred, virtually overnight, from a pre-industrial, agrarian society to a knowledge-based, technology-rich society. This immigration created a large-scale social experiment, which offered an extraordinary opportunity to examine the social and cultural transition and adaptation of a non-literate and semi populations.
This paper opens a preliminary window which will enable a better comprehension of the cognitive aspects of intercultural transitions with respect to a non-literate and semi populations and their acquisition of technological knowledge; it examines the cognitive aspects of this unique phenomenon of dramatic technological and cultural transition

Keywords: Knowledge, Transition, Culture, Immigration, Migration, Cross-Cultural

International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp.59-76. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.714MB).

Dr. Yarden Fanta-Vagenshtein

Research, Human Development and Psychology Department, Graduate School of Education, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA

Yarden Fanta-Vagenshtein is a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, department of human development and psychology. In 1985 when she emigrated from Ethiopia to Israel, she did not know how to read or write. In 2005, she completed her Ph.D. in education, becoming the first Ethiopian woman to earn a doctorate in Israel. Fanta-Vagenshtein was a teaching fellow at Tel Aviv’s School of Education, Science and Technology (2002-2007); presented key Israeli educational and political issues to world leaders as Emissary for the State of Israel, the Jewish Agency for Israel (1997-2005); and served on the board of directors overseeing Israel’s Community Centers for the Ministry of Education (1994-2000). Field of research examines how illiterate immigrants’ adapt to modern societies, specifically Ethiopian assimilation in Israel. At present, Fanta-Vagenshtein is investigating the literacy and life skills of immigrants in the United States, particularly these factors’ impact on human capital, cognitive and technology skills, and literacy acquisition.

Dr. David Chen

Emeritus Professpr, School of Education, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel


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