News on High Ability

Emily Church

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Gifted and talented students participating in the First European Youth Summit 2016, which was held in Vienna (Austria) between 29 February and 5 March 2016, summarized their needs in education and life. The document, having the title "Charter on the rights of gifted students" can be downloaded from here Youth Platform Charter. The successful Summit took place in parallel with the 15th International Conference of ECHA. Participating students continued the discussion on the document with the supervision of Monica Parodi, Ph.D., specialist in political legislation and Anna Maria Roncoroni, Ph.D., member of the General Committee of ECHA. The document (which was modified several times during the discussions of the students) is intending to call the attention and action of all parties involved in bettering the life of gifted and talented students, be them politicians, teachers at any level of the education system, potential mentors, tutors, parents and all members of the societies in Europe and other continents. The document wants to contribute to the process of making these societies more and more supportive for the help of gifted and talented as their key resource and – in fact – as their life insurance to solve the unprecedented challenges mankind faces in the 21st century. In the meantime we had a successful 2nd European Youth Summit in Budapest earlier this year. The next 3 Summits will take place during the 2018 and 2020 International ECHA Conferences in Dublin and Porto, respectively, as well as during the 2019 Thematic ECHA Conference in Dubrovnik. The Youth Platform of the European Talent Support Network started several other projects which you may follow here: https://www.facebook.com/ypetsn/.

In reply to several inqueries the Qualification Committe of ECHA announce to extent the deadline of the Application to be European or an Associated European Talent Centre a by 22nd October.

Note that there will be no further extension of this deadline.

If you have any further questions, please send them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. email address.

Pay your ECHA membership fee or become an ECHA member now by filling in your data here: http://echa.info/membership. Under the new scheme of ECHA membership introduced earlier this year (http://echa.info/193-new-membership-system) if you pay your ECHA membership fee before September 30th, you will still receive the autumn issue of ECHA News and High Ability Studies. Your membership will expire only on September 30th 2018. Importantly, for your 60 EUR membership you receive a 70 EUR discount from the registration fee of the 2018 ECHA Conference in Dublin. Register here: https://confpartners.eventsair.com/echa-2018/registrations/Site/Register and submit your abstract here: https://confpartners.eventsair.com/PresentationPortal/Account/Login. Do not worry whether you had already paid your ECHA membership fee for 2017. If you make a duplicate payment your membership will be extended until 2019. Become an ECHA members now!

ECHA has its 30th birthday in 1987 and 1988. It was on 29th May 1987, when ECHA was founded in Utrecht and 10 November 1988 when the first ECHA Conference started in Zürich. The General Committee decided to celebrate the 30th birthday by collecting information on all International ECHA Conferences and by publishing them on the ECHA website. Please send your photos, or any other electronic document you have on former ECHA Conferences to Ragnild Zonneveld, the vice-president of the ECHA association in the Netherlands at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Ragnild will be helped in her work by our ECHA General Committee member, Lianne Hoogeveen, who keeps the ECHA archives. They will also lead the efforts to make a short history of ECHA training. (When sending your contribution in the subject line please mention the conference or training -- place and time -- the material or text relates to.) Great thanks for your help!

Sunday, 06 August 2017 12:50

National Correspondent - Austria

AustriaMag.Dr. Rupert Sodl
Specialist in Gifted Education
Pädagogische Hochschule Oberösterreich
Kaplanhofstraße 40
4020 Linz
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Mag.Dr. Rupert Sodl studied at the University of Salzburg and received his magisterium in 1992 and his doctorate in 1994. Since then he has been working as a teacher of mathematics, geography, informatics and descriptive geometry (and CAD-modelling) in beautiful Upper Austria. For more than 15 years he conducted courses of the ÖMO (= austrian mathematic olympiad) for gifted pupils aged from 14 to 18. In 2008 he completed the ECHA course successfully and received the diploma "Specialist in Gifted Education". Since then Rupert Sodl held a lot of courses for pupils with high abilities located in several schools. Beside his work as a teacher in the public school system, he was engaged for a longer period in the education of gifted children from 9 to 18 years. The next successful steps followed in 2012: Rupert Sodl became a member of the honourable team of talenteOÖ, which is connected to the Education Board Upper Austria. In the same year he was permitted for the first time to hold some seminars on gifted education and mathematics at the university college of education of Upper Austria for secondary school education. He followed some invitations as lecturer to conferences or training courses in Upper and Lower Austria and Carinthia and he also planned training courses in gifted education for teachers in Upper Austria. Two years later he was appointed "Länderbeirat für Oberösterreich" and then, in July 2016, Rupert Sodl was elected President of ECHA Austria. Looking back over 25 years as teacher Dr. Sodl is optimistic about the future. He believes in the validity of the quotation from Prof. Joseph Renzulli: "A Rising Tide Lifts All Ships", and is firmly convinced that School development can only achieve long-term success, if all the participants are taken into consideration.

The 2014 General Assembly of ECHA agreed that ECHA will support, regulate and guide the formation of a European Talent Support Network. European Talent Centres will form the hubs of this Network, while European Talent Points will be its nodes.[1]

 

Aims and details of the European Talent Support Network can be found in the document downloadable from: http://echa.info/images/documents/high-ability/European-Talent-Support-Network-ECHA-General-Assembly.pdf

The General Assembly of ECHA elected the Qualification Committee in 2016: http://www.echa.info/qualification-committee to qualify European Talent Centres.

 

The Qualification Committee invites European or in case of Associated Centres non European talent support organisations to submit their application to become a European or Associated European Talent Centre.

 

A European Talent Centre should be an organisation, or a distinct part of a larger organisation, established for this role. European Talent Centres might organise activities in the field of high ability in a region or a country (meaning that there might be more than one European Talent Centre per European country, and applications may cover more than one country).

You can read about the results of the first round (2015) and the second round (2016) of applications here: http://www.echa.info/129-breaking-news-the-first-14-european-talent-centres  and here: http://www.echa.info/170-five-new-centres-in-the-european-talent-support-network

You can only apply on-line on the ETSN website (http://etsn.eu/apply-to-become-a-talent-centre/);  the application form in a pdf format and its scoring sheet can be downloaded from here, too. The Qualification Committee will evaluate your application by aggregating the scores as a whole. Applications will not be judged against each criteria separately. Successful proven past activity and potential future engagements in the field would be of key importance in this process. 

Existing European Talent Centres will be re-evaluated every other year (i.e. in 2019, 2021 etc.) by the Qualification Committee of ECHA to ensure that they still fulfil the criteria. If the criteria are no longer fulfilled, the title of European Talent Centre may be suspended or withdrawn by the Committee.

Please complete the on-line Application Form (http://etsn.eu/apply-to-become-a-talent-centre/) by 22 October 2017. Completed online application forms will be sent to the Secretary of the Qualification Committee, Csilla Fuszek (http://echa.info/104-csilla-fuszek-s-cv). Please email any queries to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


[1] The notion of hubs (Talent Centres) and nodes (Talent Points) in the forming European Talent Support Network does not mean a hierarchical structure. European Talent Points will be linked to the Network through European Talent Centres. European Talent Points may also develop contacts with multiple European Talent Centres and each other. Talent Centers should be considered as coordinating centers. There is a possibility for a joint-application to be a European Talent Centre requiring no potential European Talent Points (schools, parent organisations, organisations in gifted education, etc.) for that particular Centre. That gives a way to make a fully non-hierarchical network in countries, or regions, where it is preferred.

It is our pleasure to announce that the 17th International ECHA Conference will take place in the historic city of Porto in Portugal between the 9th and 12th September 2020. We look forward to this exciting meeting having the major topic of Capacity and Talent including educational policies, innovative and technological educational practices, identification and evaluation, case studies and all areas of gifted education and talent support. The conference will provide networking options for the European Talent Support Network and will host the 2020 European Youth Summit. Please mark the event in your calendar NOW! We look forward to see you at this momentous event.

It is our pleasure to inform you that ECHA's scholarly journal, High Ability Studies has a 2016 impact factor of 1.13. This is a substantial increase from 2015’s 0.737. The increase in impact factor is also reflected in the Scopus metrics, where High Ability Studies now has a CiteScore of 0.95, compared with that of 0.56 for 2015. Congratulations to Albert Ziegler, the Editor-in-Chief, and all contributing authors! Please consider sending your high quality papers to our journal, increasing its (and your!) impact further.

The European Talent Support Network established a home-page, which can be visited here: http://etsn.eu/. The homepage (http://etsn.eu/history-of-etsn/) emphasizes ECHA's role in the foundation of the Network and in the gifted education expert-counseling of its everyday work. The homepage contains an excellent map of the Network (http://etsn.eu/map-of-etsn/). Many thanks for Csilla Fuszek, the coordinator of the Network, Emily Church, the web-master of ECHA and the Network Council (http://etsn.eu/council-members/) led by Albert Ziegler for all their work leading to this major step!

The Network (and its European Talent Centres) issued a call for applications to become a European Talent Point (or an Associated European Talent Point situated outside Europe). The call is open until October 30th but applications are evaluated continuously and applying organizations will hear a response within a month of their submission. Applications should be sent via the on-line Application Form accessible here: http://etsn.eu/apply-to-join-etsn/. Details of the call can be seen here: http://etsn.eu/call-for-application-to-be-a-european-talent-point-or-to-be-an-associated-european-talent-point/ together with email addresses, where further information can be gained. We encourage all ECHA members to ask the respected organizations of the field of gifted education and talent support they know to consider their application to become part of the Network.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017 15:36

Successful 2nd European Youth Summit

The Youth Platform of the European Talent Support Network organized the second European Youth Summit from the 29th of March to the 2nd of April in Budapest, Hungary. 63 young talented people from 17 countries took part at the successful event. Besides discussions with guest speakers, including Albert Ziegler, Szilvia Péter-Szarka, William Benkő and Peter Csermely, participants tried the Be-novative application (https://www.be-novative.com/) through a brainstorming session at the Central European University (CEU). 22 lightning talks were presented by the Youth Platform members and 3 workshops were organized on the Innovation Day of the confernence. Workshops initiated joint projects such as to help underprivileged talented children, international mentoring programme, Youth Expedition of Science (YES), etc. Special thanks to the professional organizer team: Csilla Fuszek, Petra Fügedi and Zsuzsa Szilágyi. The third and fourth Youth Summits will be at the 2018 International ECHA Conference in Dublin (http://echa2018.info) and the 2019 Thematic ECHA Conference in Dubrovnik (http://echa.info/186-1st-thematic-echa-conference-on-creativity-dubrovnik-croatia-16-18-october-2019). More information about the Youth Platform and the application process can be found here: http://youthplatform.g6.cz/.

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