Dr. Yarden Fanta-Vagenshtein, Harvard University's Graduate School of Education
Dr. Yarden Fanta-Vagenshtein is currently 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. Dr. Fanta-Vagenshtein was a teaching fellow at Tel Aviv University's Constantiner 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). Her field of research examines how illiterate immigrants’ adapt to modern societies, specifically Ethiopian assimilation in Israel. Recent publications include: “How Illiterate People Learn: The Case of Ethiopian Immigrants,” Journal of Literacy and Technology (2008), “Acquisition of Technological Knowledge among Illiterate Ethiopian Adults in Israel” (co-authored with D. Chen), International Journal or Technology, Knowledge and Society (2008), and “Thinking Skills among Illiterate Ethiopian Immigrants in Israel,” (co-authored with D. Chen), European Distance and E-Learning Network (2007). At present she is investigating the literacy and life skills of immigrants in the United States, particularly these factors impact on human capital, cognitive skills and literacy acquisition.
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