The 11th ECHA conference was held in Prague, September 16 – 20, 2008. The title of the conference was “From Giftedness in Childhood to Successful Intelligence in Adulthood”. A title well thought through, as was stated in the announcement in ECHA News:

“Throughout the international study of giftedness, one of the most repeated issues is whether our work bears fruit for society. In other words, many of our research questions lead to the essential one, and that is whether the efforts of educational and counselling support of our gifted children finally lead them to both personal and professional success.”
(Jitka Fořtíková, ECHA News vol. 20 no. 2 November 2006)

It was organized by the international organizing committee, which was established at the ECHA General Committee meeting in Lahti (2006) and consisted of Franz J. Mönks (president of ECHA), Johanna Raffan (secretary of ECHA), Kirsi Tirri, Javier Tourón, Christian Fischer and Sheyla Blumen and supplemented by Jana Jurášková and Daniela Ostatníková.

Chairman of the conference was Jitka Fořtíková from the Centre of Giftedness in Prague.

Jitka Fortikova
Jitka Fořtíková, Chairman

There was an enormous variety in countries represented: on the name list there were 268 participants from a stunning 45 different countries. Not only from all over Europe, but all the other continents were represented as well: Asia (Indonesia, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Korea, Taiwan) Australia (Australia and New Zealand), North and South America (USA, Canada, Peru, Chile, Brazil) and Africa (Cameroon, Nigeria and Sierra Leone). For sure many miles have been travelled!

Keynote speakers were Robert J. Sternberg (USA), Kimberley L. Chandler (USA) and Diane Montgomery (UK). Invited speakers were Willy Peters (the Netherlands), Daniela Ostatnikova (Slovakia), Stanislav Zelenda (Czech Republic), Christian Fischer (Germany), Todd Lubart (France) and Jana Jurášková (Slovakia).

Period Monday
15th September
16th September
17th September
18th September
19th September
20th September
21st September
9,30 - 10,30   Preconference workshops
- Joe Renzulli, Sally Reis
Preconference workshops
- jana Jurášková
Keynote speech
Robert Sternberg
Keynote speech
Kimberley Chandler
Keynote speech
Diane Montgomery
Half-day Tour to Karlstejn Castle
10,40 - 11,40   Preconference workshops
- Joe Renzulli, Sally Reis
Preconference workshops
- Johanna Raffan, Diane Montgomery
Invited speakers
Todd Lubart, Daniela Ostatniková
Invited speakers
Christian Fischer, Willy Peters
Invited speakers
Jana Jurášková, Stanislav Zelenda
Half-day Tour to Karlstejn Castle
12,00 - 13,00       paper sessions paper sessions Closing Ceremony  
13,00 - 14,30   LUNCH LUNCH LUNCH LUNCH Buffet LUNCH  Walking Tour
round Prague Castle District
14,30 - 15,50  Walking Tour
round Prague Castle District
 Walking Tour
in Prague and Half-day Tours round CR
  paper sessions I. paper sessions I.  Walking Tour
in Prague and Half-day Tours round CR
 Walking Tour
round Prague Castle District
16,15 - 17,35 Walking Tour
round Prague Castle District
Walking Tour
in Prague and Half-day Tours round CR
paper sessions II.,
2 discussion forums (Successfull Intellingence, Where we are going in GE)
paper sessions II.,
2 discussion forums
(underachieving students,
Online Teaching and E-learning)
Walking Tour
in Prague and Half-day Tours round CR
19,00 - 21,00      Welcome Drink Reception at hotel Mövenpick Boat Cruise on Vltava river or Chamber Concert at Villa Bertramka  (19,30)Conference Dinner at the Municipal House    

Outline of the conference program

In Prague Kirsi Tirri was elected President of ECHA. She took over from Franz J. Mönks, who had been President for 12 years (1992-2000, 2004-2008). A unique picture was taken:

Prague 2008 4 echa presidents
Four Presidents of ECHA: Javier Tourón, Joan Freeman, Kirsi Tirri and Franz Mönks

“The major purposes of the International Conference were to present an outstanding scientific program and to promote international exchange. The Organizing Committee of ECHA 2008 had selected world renowned researchers and educationalists as keynote speakers and invited performers. All invited speakers and conveners represented the fields of psychology and education related to the issues of supporting the gifted children. They came from all over Europe but also from overseas areas. In addition to symposia, thematic oral sessions, and interactive poster sessions, we introduced a new format in Prague that we hoped would stimulate discussion during the meeting. Thematic Debates focused on topics that were both inherently important and interesting to all of us as psychologists, teachers and parents - successful intelligence, the future of ECHA, ICT in gifted Education and Underachievement. The debates took place once a day at a prominent time slot and were chaired by the most experienced scientists in the field - Robert Sternberg, Johanna Raffan, Stanislav Zelenda and Diane Montgomery. We also introduced the main three-day conference by the two-day pre-conference workshops by which we hoped to attract mainly the teachers involved in gifted education in the European region. (…) We would like to thank all the speakers of the conference, all the members of the organising team and to ECHA International for providing an opportunity to organize and happen this outstanding scientific conference in the Czech Republic. I strongly believe our country will benefit from its outcomes for a long time.”
(Jitka Fořtíková, Chairman)

The website is available at this link:

program Prague 1
Detailed program, page 1.
program Prague 2
Detailed program, page 2.
flyer Prague 1
program book cover Prague missing
Program book Prague – can you find the mistake?

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