ABOUT ECHA

About ECHA

Throughout Europe there is a growing awareness of the needs of our most able individuals; in recent years increasing interest in this area of child development has generated new forms of practice in education, numerous research programmes and studies, a growth in the number of societies for parents of highly able children and, indeed, a growth in concern for highly able people of all ages.
ECHA has been generated by an overwhelming demand for coordination from most European countries, both West and East. The major goal of ECHA is to act as a communications network to promote the exchange of information among people interested in high ability – educators, researchers, psychologists, parents and the highly able themselves. As the ECHA network grows, provision for highly able people improves and these improvements are beneficial to all members of society.
The basis for this specifically European Council comes from a belief in our common cultural heritage which is distinct from that of other parts of the world. Although Europe is made up of different countries with many languages, we share the traditions and outlooks of societies in which education has been widely available for centuries. We also share the same kinds of problems, and it makes sense to work towards their solution together.
The European Council for High Ability aims to advance the study and development of potential excellence in people. This enterprise calls for easy access to communication so that new discoveries whether scientific or the fruits of experience, can be readily shared between members of ECHA and others who are concerned about high ability.
ECHA enjoys consultative status as a non-governmental organisation (NGO) with the Council of Europe.

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CONFERENCE COUNTDOWN

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Professor Karine Vershueren

Karine Verschueren is full professor and head of the research unit School Psychology and Development in Context at KU Leuven, Belgium. In 1996 she obtained her PhD in the domain of developmental psychology. In 2000 she was appointed as professor in school psychology. She investigates the psychosocial and academic development of children and adolescents in schools (e.g., self-esteem, academic engagement), and the risk and protective factors for this development. Specifically, she focuses on the role of teacher-student and peer interactions as contexts for child and adolescent development. She investigates these processes not only in general student populations, but more recently also among highly able students. Her teaching involves developmental and school psychology, including school psychological assessment.

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Professor Francoys Gagne

Professor Françoys Gagné is from Montreal, Quebec, born October 6, 1940. After skipping three grades, he obtained his M.A. in Philosophy (Psychology) in 1962 and his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology in 1966, both from the University of Montreal. Dr. Gagné has spent most of his professional career (1978-2001) in the Department of Psychology, at l’Université du Québec à Montréal. After a decade of research on student evaluations of teaching (1967-1977), he became interested in talent development in the late 1970s. Although his research brought him to study a variety of subjects within the field of gifted education, he is best known internationally for his theory of talent development, the Differentiating Model of Giftedness and Talent (DMGT), which has been endorsed by various educational authorities as their framework to define their target population and plan intervention provisions. Professor Gagné has won major awards in the field of gifted education, among them NAGC’s prestigious Distinguished Scholar Award (1996), and two awards from the Mensa Society. Although retired from his UQAM professorship since 2001, Dr. Gagné maintains international publishing and keynoting activities.

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David Cuartielles

TBC

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Professor Heidrun Stoeger

Professor Heidrun Stoeger, PhD, is full professor for educational sciences at the University of Regensburg, Germany. She holds the Chair for School Research, School Development, and Evaluation. She is vice president of the International Research Association for Talent Development and Excellence (IRATDE). She is also a member of the editorial board of the German journal Talent Development and served from 2007 to 2014 as editor in chief of the journal High Ability Studies. She has published more than 250 articles, chapters, and books on giftedness, self-regulated learning, motivation, fine motor skills, and teacher education. She is a member of several national and international scientific boards and expert commissions in the field of giftedness research and gifted education.

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Professor Anne Looney

Anne has recently taken up the post of Executive Dean of Dublin City University’s new Institute of Education. From 2001 until 2016 she was the CEO of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, the agency responsible for curriculum and assessment for early years, primary and post-primary education in Ireland. She held the position of Interim CEO at the Higher Education Authority until March of this year. A former teacher, she completed her doctoral studies at the Institute of Education in University College London. In 2014/2015 she was Professorial Research Fellow at the Learning Science Institute Australia, based at Australian Catholic University in Brisbane. Her current research interests include assessment policy and practice, curriculum, teacher identity and professional standards for teachers and teaching. She has also published on religious, moral and civic education, and education policy. She has conducted reviews for the OECD on school quality and assessment systems. She is a member of the boards of Early Childhood Ireland, and the Ark Cultural Centre for Children.