ECHA Monthly Lectures

During the 2021 General Assembly it was announced that ECHA will be organizing monthly lectures about themes related to ‘High Ability’. These lectures take place on the last Thursday of every month.

The President of ECHA Professor Lianne Hoogeveen started this series on Thursday, the 30th of September 2021, talking about Implicit Theories concerning Giftedness

Everybody has implicit theories, we need them to function: those things ‘we just know’. We use them also when we call someone gifted, or not gifted. It is good to give it a moment’s thought:  why do we call this person gifted, why do we consider someone else not gifted, and what are the implications of us thinking like that?  

Details of the other lectures can be found below.

If you would like to attend a lecture, please email to request the Zoom link.

If you are interested to give a lecture yourself, or a workshop, please let us know! Send the title and a short summary of what you would like to present, and the month you would like to do that.

Thursday October 28th 2021

Dr Colm O’Reilly and Dr Leeanne Hinch from CTY Ireland talked about EGift – a free online course for teachers and parents of gifted students.

E-Gift was an Erasmus+ funded project which aimed to provide appropriate educational opportunities for gifted students at a school level. To accomplish this, the project focused on developing a free Online Educational Resource for teachers and parents which introduces them to the field of gifted education’s key issues, approaches and challenges. In this talk Dr. Colm O’Reilly and Dr. Leeanne Hinch will speak about this project and the five key strands of this programme: Identification, Lived Experience, Social and Emotional Wellbeing, Teaching Strategies, and Programme Design Principles. Afterwards, participants will be able to access the platform and gain access to the free resources.

Thursday November 25th 2021

Dr. Szilvia Fodor, psychologist, assistant professor at ELTE University, Budapest, Hungary talked about Wellbeing and Performance at school.

Positive psychology is a new scientific approach of 21st-century psychology, aiming to increase the quality of life, prevent pathologies and enhance subjective well-being. As Peterson (2008) says „positive psychology is the scientific study of what makes life most worth living”. During the workshop the concept of wellbeing will be introduced, with a special emphasis on Seligman’s PERMA model. We will also examine how this model can be applied in an educational context to students and teachers. In addition, participants get a personal insight of their own well-being and some practical advice about how to enhance wellbeing in a school context.

Thursday January 27th 2022

Dr Annette Heinbokel talked about Acceleration.

Members of ECHA know the basics of what to offer children that are not sufficiently challenged: enrichment, acceleration and their combinations. Although there has been positive research on acceleration for decades, especially in the US, not only lay people but also many educators and psychologists have their misgivings.

National correspondents of ECHA and participants at ECHA conferences were asked about the implementation of acceleration in their countries and attitudes towards it

Several German studies on acceleration will be presented, including questionnaires for adults who had skipped. Results were overwhelmingly positive. In this talk I will discuss the various studies and the merits of acceleration.

Thursday February 24th 2022

Dr Georgia Tsoulfa and Dr Haido Samara from CTY Greece talked about cultivating 21st century skills in high-ability students.

Any educator, researcher or other professional who works in the field of giftedness is aware of many of the characteristics associated with advanced learners such as the ability they have to synthesize new information quickly, their problem-solving skills, their independent pathways to learning, their empathetic nature, their sensitivity to their environment and the desire they have for a personal connection with others. In the heart of the educational focus on promoting 21st century skills in all students, finding ways of tapping into the particular innate traits of our gifted and talented learners and connecting those traits with the required 21st century skills may not only be worthwhile for their own personal growth but can also benefit students of all abilities in a typical classroom. This is going to be an interactive workshop.

Thursday March 31st 2022

Prof Joan Freeman talked about Gifted Children Growing Up.

For 35 years, I scientifically compared identified gifted children with carefully matched non-identified gifted and also random children (n=210), each triad in the same school class. There were statistically significant differences between the identified and the non-identified gifted. Over time, the gifted faced distinct problems of e.g. vocational choice and acceleration.  Personality often directed reactions to chance.  I will introduce a few of the sample to show how their lives worked out.

Thursday April 28th 2022

May Nellen talked about what causes gifted children to underachieve.

I am May Nellen. Since 2003 I try to make the world more gifted-friendly. Since 2010 I am an ECHA specialist in gifted education. I train teachers and coach gifted children and young adults, sometimes in small groups but mostly one-on-one. In the last two decades, I met a lot of different coachees. Some of them stay with me forever. There was a small boy who stopped growing. After a year of coaching, he grew 5 centimeters. It’s impossible to prove that the coaching was what made him grow again, but it certainly contributed to his well-being. I wondered what happend to him before I met him, what cost him so much energy that he stopped growing?
I met a lot of other young children who were very insecure and unhappy. It made me wonder what made them so insecure and unhappy? In the literature, I found a lot of models and theories about giftedness. Most of thim are descriptive. But I didn’t find a model that explaines what makes gifted children insecure and uhappy and eventually underachieve. So, I did some research to find out which factors cause underachievement and why gifted underachievers behave the way they do. I think it is necessary to understand the gifted and we need to know what risk they run so that we can offer them the appropriated help. I then created a model of my own. This model helps to explain to teachers and parents why gifted children sometimes don’t flourish. I will present this model in the monthy lecture of April.

Thursday May 26th 2022

“Channelling intensity for creativity: should intense feelings be treated or celebrated?”

This month’s presentation will be an open discussion using participatory action research approach. We will analyse different perspectives on traits shared by intense people. Additionally, we will argue the advantages of a child-like approach to science.

The discussion slides were created by Carlos Araújo, a senior public sector auditor, and scholarship holder from the European Union and the Portuguese Speaking Community of Supreme Audit Institutions (OISC/CPLP). In the near future he wishes to  specialize managing public sector innovation using the quadruple helix model of innovation.

Thursday June 30th 2022

Rianne van de Ven talked about Giftedness in practice; Strengthening personal leadership in gifted adults.

Many gifted adults were not recognized as being gifted as children simply because knowledge of giftedness did not exist or was unavailable. Many gifted people experience challenges in dealing with others and with themselves. How can they learn to acknowledge and develop their potential in a world that rarely understands them?

Giftedness is not always recognized or considered relevant in situations at work or in care. As a result, gifted people often fail to receive the support they need. How can professionals like career counselors, coaches, psychologists, therapists, labor experts, HR advisors, or supervisors help in this regard?

In her latest book, coach Rianne van de Ven, gifted herself, provides insights into and building blocks for successfully supporting gifted adults. What role does giftedness play? How can gifted adults change ingrained patterns and develop new essential skills? Valuable tools for professionals and gifted people themselves.

Rianne van de Ven (the Netherlands, 1971)  has worked as a professional coach for gifted adults for more than 15 years. She is an author, speaker, trainer, teacher, and

researcher on the subject of gifted adults and is an ECHA Specialist in Gifted Education since 2016.