Rock research associate speaks at a United Nations co-sponsored conference
Yael Warshel, assistant professor of telecommunications and research associate in the Rock Ethics Institute, and affiliated faculty of comparative and international education, recently traveled to Baku, Azerbaijan to participate in a UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs co-sponsored roundtable about refugees and internally displaced persons. The roundtable, part of the Baku International Humanitarian Forum, brought together world leaders, policy makers, practitioners, and experts to discuss world problems and possible mechanisms to bring about positive change. The inclusion of researchers ensured that leading research was brought into the conversation.
Forcibly migrated populations discussions tend to mostly discuss the formal education that these populations are losing. Dr. Warshel, on the other hand, spoke about "mobile literacy," a term coined by Warshel, or the non-formal education which these populations are acquiring and the irony that those skills better benefit global sensibility. Dr. Warshel explain that this type of mobile sensibility includes "cross-cultural competency, multilingualism, exceptional planning and organizational capabilities (carried out amid uncertainty and in the absence of adequate resources), travel and terrain navigation and know-how." Her presentation continued by suggesting ways for states world-wide to preserve mobile literacy.
"States should consider:
- Mechanisms for preserving these hard earned skills among migrating populations;
- Mechanisms for employing those very populations to teach mobile literacy in order that both they and sedentary populations benefit, since the latter are not readily learning these skills through stage based education models;
- What it means when these skills are being best honed only through extreme circumstances."