ECHA: The first years

The primary aim of ECHA is to act as a European network for understanding high ability throughout the lifespan. From its establishment on 19th May 1987, during the years of my Founding Presidency, it soared from an idea to become a dynamic multinational association. The initiating team (including Pieter Span, Harald Wagner and Ulrike Stedtnitz) reached out particularly to professionals behind the (then) ‘iron curtain’. High standards were crucial, which is probably why the demand for international membership obliged us to remove European geographical boundaries. We published a quarterly newsletter and (with great difficulty) a scientific peer-reviewed journal. Not only did we present biennial conferences, but several times a year across Europe we set up ECHA symposia at other conferences, as well as independent ECHA workshops, e.g. maths, music, adolescence, thinking.

A specialist academic group designed and put into action the ECHA international Advanced Diploma for near and distant learning, while the Schools Division was concerned with the practice of education for the most able. A bank of about 25 ECHA Correspondents cared for concerns in their own countries. Our exciting plans for international research on art talent and an ECHA publications company were in progress when I handed over. After nearly quarter of a century, it is thrilling to see the magnetism ECHA still holds all over the world for professionals in our field.
Committee 1989
ECHA Committee 1989 - from left to right: Klaus Urban (Germany), Candido Genovard (Spain) Pieter Span (NL), Joan Freeman (UK), Harald Wagner (Germany), Eva Gefferth (Hungary) and  Andrzej Sekowski (Poland)

Become a member of the ECHA community! Please click HERE  to start your application to become an ECHA member (where your membership fee can be paid by credit card through a secure connection), or go to the Members Area page, where you may see members' benefits.

For membership issues and general information please contact the ECHA Secretariat by clicking HERE .

ECHA News appears twice a year giving in-depth interviews, description of best practices, introduction of ECHA members and highly able young people. For more information click HERE .

ECHA members receive ECHA News free as a pdf file to their email address. Back issues can be accessed in this web-site for ECHA members.

ECHA has a growing Facebook community. To join ECHA's Facebook group, please click HERE .

To access the European Talent Support Network (ETSN) homepage, please click HERE.

Conferences

Further Information