Thu 18.09.2014 - 15:20-17:30 - Plečnik 1

ECHA – Training – Present Situation and Future Perspectives of Further Education  Symposia  Presentation 


Organiser: Christian Fischer
Discusant: Marca Wolfensberger

Being a teacher is a very responsible assignment and teaching the more able students may be even harder. Considering the teacher as the most important factor in adequate education for the gifted, and to make sure they can comply this difficult task, Prof Franz Mönks, the then President of the European Council of High Ability (ECHA), developed in the last decade of the last century a teacher training, now better known as the ECHA training (European Advanced Diploma in Gifted Education). Since then, this training is offered in different European countries. In this symposium the four presenters will show how they, offering the ECHA training, help teachers in various European countries within a talent support network, to become ‘Specialists in Gifted Education”. In addition to the present situation, the participants also focus future perspectives of the ECHA training (`European Master in Gifted Education´) concerning the great challenge to teach highly able students, now and in the future within a digital age, adequately.

ECHA training: the who and the why  Symposia contribution  Presentation

Presenter: Anna Maria Roncoroni

In Italy, except the Bolzano area, there is no ECHA training or any other type of professional training for teachers, excluding courses of just some tens of hours. In order to better understand the reasons of this “choice”, it is necessary to go in deep in the Italian scholastic system. As measured by the International students assessment (TIMSS, PIRLS AND PISA), our students competencies slowly decrease starting from primary to high school. We are just one of the best schools in the world that allows students to get an Intermediate level of knowledge. To understand the reasons why we are an “intermediate” school, we have to know where we come from but also where we are going. Investing in Human Capital now is becoming a necessity from an economical point of view: most of times, the cultural changes has an economical reason because Economy is the driving force of the world. When we will becoming aware that investing in Talent development is one of the best way that can lead us out of the economic crises that we are living now, ECHA training will become a necessity, as well as all other activities directed to our most high ability students.


Teacher Training in the Netherlands  Symposia contribution

Presenter: Lianne Hoogeveen

The Center for the Study of Giftedness at the Radboud University Nijmegen has offered the ECHA training since 1992. Since then, hundreds of teachers of Primary and Secondary Education, but alos psychologist, who are working in education, have become Specialists in Gifted Education. Because of their training, and the research required in order to obtain their diploma, gifted education in the Netherlands has improved. In this symposium, we will show how we train our teachers, we will also show some interesting research projects from our students as well as give an overview of their activities after they have complete the course. One of the things they can do from September 2014, is continuing their studies, enrolling in the International Master Program “Gifted Education’ at the Radboud University in Nijmegen. With the International Centre for the Study of Giftedness at the University of Münster, we are realising a Joint Master Program that we hope to offer from September 2015.

ECHA-Teacher Training: Further Developments in Germany  Symposia contribution  Presentation

Presenter: Christian Fischer

The International Centre for the Study of Giftedness at the University of Münster offers the ECHA-Diploma teacher training in Germany since 2001. Since then, several hundreds of teachers received the European Advanced Diploma in Gifted Education in Germany. These teachers not only have had important influence in the field of gifted education programs, but also on the general school development in Europe. This underlines the necessity of further developments from the ECHA-Diploma to the European Master Degree in Gifted Education, to meet the great challenge to teach highly able students as well as to promote individual needs in general, now and in the future, adequately. Based on the module structure of the ECHA-Diploma teacher training, this Master program focusses in depth theoretical competencies about conceptions of giftedness, diagnostic competencies in identifying the gifted, didactic competencies in educating the gifted, communicative competencies about counseling of the gifted and structural competencies about implementation of gifted education programs including perspectives for lifelong learning. This Master Program should be combined with a Joint Master Program together with the Center for the Study of Giftedness at the Radboud University Nijmegen.


European Advanced Diploma in Gifted Education: Present Situation and Future Perspectives  Symposia contribution  Presentation

Presenter: Petra Wolfsberger

The European Advanced Diploma in Gifted Education is a well-established programme in different European countries like the Netherlands, Hungary, Austria, Switzerland and Germany. More than 2500 teachers have graduated with the ECHA-Diploma: `Specialist in Gifted Education´ and promote the gifted education movement in Europe in an important way. ECHA-Austria was founded in 1998 as result of a large demand on coordination. The main purpose of ECHA therefore is to serve as a communication network and to promote the exchange of information from people who are interested in supporting the gifted. The aims of this association are among other to organize annual conferences for teachers holding the ECHA-diploma or the ECHA-certificate, for officials in the school administration and for researchers and students. ECHA Austria is publishing books including recent research and experiences in practice. Petra Summer presents the current situation of ECHA-Austria and gives a survey of new developments and tendencies in teacher-training-programmes for gifted education (ECHA-Courses).