The Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster (WWU) is to host the largest congress on research into giftedness yet seen in Germany. “Giftedness across the lifespan” is the title of the congress which the WWU’s International Centre for the Study of Giftedness (ICBF) is organizing from the 12th to the 15th of September.
The congress, which combines the 4th Münster Education Congress and the 13th International ECHA Conference (European Council for High Ability), is being held in Germany again for the first time in 20 years and is expected to attract around 800 teachers, academics, politicians and parents from all over the world. The most recent ECHA conferences took place in Prague and Paris. “This is a special accolade,” says Prof. Christian Fischer, the ICBF chairman. “With both congresses being held together, it makes it possible to offer an especially varied and comprehensive range of events, as well as cross-border exchanges on practical experience.”
The participants from all together 42 countries will be able to choose from among more than 350 talks, symposia and workshops. Debates and input will be focusing on promoting giftedness in early childhood, at school and in working life. “Our focus is on opportunities for continuous, individual support for particularly gifted people,” comments Christian Fischer. A further focus will be the question of how the over-60s can continue to receive support when they retire, and how their knowledge can be passed on to younger generations in the best way possible.
The guests will include internationally renowned educationalists such as Prof. Nicolas Colangelo and Prof. Joseph S. Renzulli, both from the USA. The ICBF is expecting a total of 36 speakers from all five continents.
With its ICBF the WWU is one of the most important centres for research into giftedness in Germany. The ICBF, founded in 2001, is an academic joint venture involving the Universities of Osnabrück, Nijmegen and Münster. The ICBF also collaborates with the North Rhine-Westphalian Centre of Competence for Individual Support, which is likewise located in Münster.
The congress is being funded by the “Bildung & Begabung” (“Education & Giftedness”) organization, the German Ministry of Education and Research, the Stifterverband für die deutsche Wissenschaft (the Business Community’s Innovation Agency for Science at Universities and Research Institutes), the Robert Bosch Stiftung and the Volkswagen company.
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