The EARLI Executive Committee (EC) recently convened online to discuss the usual order of business that is essential to maintaining the good standing of a large educational research association such as EARLI. The Russian invasion of Ukraine was extraordinarily added to the meeting’s agenda, due to the urgency of the situation and the humanitarian, social, and educational ramifications.
The EARLI EC, thereby, would like to reaffirm its inalienable belief in fundamental human rights, in democratic ideals, and peaceful resolution of conflicts, as also specified in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), and other international conventions. As EC, we are deeply saddened by, and condemn, the violation of human rights and the violence brought upon by one sovereign nation on another.
As an educational research organisation, we urge our members to support those in need, especially to researchers, educators, students and the educational communities which are under attack. We also express our willingness to advocate for the importance of supporting research that can contribute to understanding how to address contemporary societal challenges, which can help defend our fragile democracies, avoid the spread of misinformation, and allow us to engage in civil, peaceful and informed dialogue on difficult issues.
The EARLI EC concluded its discussion with the following concrete decisions to act:
- Establishment of a Scholars at Risk initiative;
- Examine stratified membership and conference registration fees to allow researchers from less privileged socio-economic contexts to be active members of the EARLI community;
- Host the organisation of EARLI conferences only in countries that do not violate democratic principles and basic human rights, as stated in the ECHR and other widely accepted international conventions;
- Organise invited symposia during the next biennial conference to discuss the role of research on learning and instruction in fostering democratic citizenship.
We sincerely hope that the brutality of the war in Ukraine, and the suffering that we are witnessing, will quickly come to an end. Our thoughts remain with the people of Ukraine, and with all those lives being lost and irreparably damaged regardless of nationality.
While we acknowledge that this is not the only existing conflict or area of violence in the world, we urge everyone to consider how we can lead by example, through our research, our work and our personal behaviour, in order to provide humanitarian aid and minimise the possibility of such devastating conflicts arise again in the future.