Wednesday 31 August 2022

In the run-up to the ECHA conference, you can already go in-depth during the pre-conference. Don’t miss the chance to participate in the in-depth workshops given by the experts in the field of Giftedness and Talent Development.

You can register for the pre-conference in addition to your registration for the conference. If you have already registered, you can send an email to have the pre-conference added to your registration.

Registration is possible for all day, morning only or afternoon only.

If you do not participate in the conference, you can also only register for the pre-conference:


Times are CEST

08:30 – 09:30

Registration pre-conference

09:30 – 10:45

In-depth morning workshops (part 1)

A. Are you up for a treasure hunt? Using a change- and solution-focused approach while working with twice-exceptional learners - Dr. Eleonoor van Gerven

Twice-exceptional and multiple exceptional students (TE/ME students) experience difficulties due to being gifted and having a learning disability and what is expected of them as students in general (Baum et al., 2017; Pereles et al., 2009; Trail, 2022). This may result in unique social-emotional and/or behavioural problems (Kaufman, 2018; Reiss et al., 2014; Webb et al, 2016). Teachers find it difficult to cope with situations occurring due to the interplay between the student’s natural abilities and thresholds. They feel insecure about whether to take action and start-up an educational plan or to wait until a diagnosis of the underlying problem is available.


This session aims for teacher educators, SENCo’s working at school level or at district level and researchers to attend. We will explore how a change- and solution-focused approach for teachers, based on the concept of RtI and the involvement of the student’s ecological system, can be used when educating twice-exceptional students. We focus on the pre-diagnostic stage, encouraging teachers to use the presented strategy when formal identification of giftedness and the learning/behavioural differences have not been completed. In this session, several case studies that are based on this approach will be presented.

B. What does a national mandated full spectrum gifted policy look like? - Tijl Koenderink

The Netherlands is one of the first countries in the world with a national mandated program for gifted students aged 4-18 and with the support ranging from basic differentiation to taking care of gifted twice exceptional dropouts. At the same time the Dutch education system is highly decentralized and thus very differentiated in how this support is offered.


Tijl Koenderink has worked on all levels on gifted policy and practice from teaching full-time gifted classes to designing national policy. In this presentation Tijl will share an overview of the Dutch education system with regards to giftedness and then dive deeply into how this is applied in practice in the Netherlands.


Participants can expect to take home a number of clear models with regards how to design and implement region-wide gifted programs and national policies. There will be concrete examples of how individual school settings can take a place in such a national framework. There will be ample time for discussions and questions about practical topics but also more philosophical questions such as how specialized gifted schools relate to terms like equity and inclusion.


Tijl Koenderink has a long history of working with gifted education in practice. Starting out as a gifted dropout he co-founded the Leonardostichting, a foundation aimed at creating full time gifted school. He has set up an educational consultancy company, consulted hundreds of schools and dozens of school districts. He was the board member of a gifted dropout recovery center Feniks Talent. He is a principal of the School of Understanding, a senior leader in a school district for fitting education and regularly consults the ministry of education. He has travelled around the USA visiting different types of schools there to add to his perspective. He has a strong desire to make a difference in the life of kids by pragmatically working towards better solutions.

C. The Enrichment Triad Model: a component of The Schoolwide Enrichment Model, in an Italian SEM School - Lara Milan

The implementation of the Schoolwide Enrichment Model in the first SEM School in Italy provides an insight on how a programming model that was specifically designed to apply the pedagogy of gifted education to the overall process of schoolwide enrichment can help nurture students’ gifts and talents despite a lack of National Guidelines on G&T or Gifted Programs in this country. The absence of a national identification system, the original Renzulli Scales were adopted during the first year of this implementation, whereas the second year took advantage of the publication of the Italian Edition of this instrument. As suggested by some scholars, by replacing the term gifted education with “talent development” (Renzulli & Reis, 1997; Treffinger & Feldhusen, 1996), all the enrichment activities arranged in the SEM school were offered to the whole school population, which allowed us to overcome the age-old distinction between gifted and non-gifted students. The SEM components applied so far prove that we can develop students’ strength areas and interests in a larger population by exposing students to opportunities, resources and encouragement to fully develop their potential.


Lara Milan

Ph.D. 2nd degree connection 2nd Founder & CEO presso SEM Italy


The workshop is carried out by Lara Milan, Specialist in Gifted and Talented Education and SEM Specialist, qualifications earned at the University of Connecticut and at the University of California, Irvine, USA.
The SEM Model was first implemented in the Italian Public School by Lara Milan as part of her PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Pavia.


D. Voices from practice and voices of science in reaching the potentials of gifted and talented students - Prof. Alexander Minnaert

In this workshop, Alexander Minnaert will unfold a kaleidoscopic view on the (in and out of) school situation of the gifted and talented. He will focus on the policy towards the gifted and talented, the voices from educational and counseling practice and the voices of the students themselves, and on the state-of-the-art in scientific research concerning the efforts in reaching the potentials of gifted and talented students. There will be room for in-depth discussion and for exchange of views with all participants. The workshop will comprise a presentation, some statements to foster discussion and some case-study examples to reflect upon.

E. Navigating strengths and stresses: Supporting yourself in supporting highly able learners - Prof. Niamh Stack

Teaching while a hugely rewarding profession has also been ranked as one of the most stressful occupations (Johnson et al., 2005; International Labour Office, 2016).  This is arguably due to the daily emotional labour involved, the ever-increasing workloads and the competing demands placed on teachers today (Diliberti, Schwartz & Grant, 2021).  There is an old saying ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup’ but often as teachers, in our desire to do the best for each of the learners in our class, we forget to pay attention to our own reserves and risk amongst other things compassion fatigue and burn out, neither of which will help us be the best educator we might wish to be.  Teaching highly able students brings its own particular rewards but also its own set of complexities and challenges. The levels of stress teachers experience in supporting learners with additional support needs has been argued to be directly related to how well equipped they feel in this task (Candeias, Galindo, Calisto, Borralho & Reschke, 2021). Others have asked the question if there are certain teacher dispositions that are better suited to teaching highly able learners (Stephens, 2019).  Within this workshop, we will take the opportunity as educators to reflect on our strengths. Drawing on the literature, we will consider which of our strengths might best serve our highly able learners, how we can harness these strengths and what resources are available to keep filling up our cups!

F. Samen de verdieping zoeken, vanuit eigenheid en kracht - Liesbet Stam-Gommans (in Dutch)

De maatschappij lijkt te zijn afgestemd op gemiddelden, als je kijkt naar onderwijs is ‘onderwijs op maat’ een uitzondering. En ‘gemiddeld genomen’ worden er uitspraken gedaan over leeftijden en ontwikkelingsfasen.

Hoe gewoon vinden we ‘gemiddeld’, terwijl verschillen mogelijk meer verschil maken. Door de jaren heen ben ik me steeds meer gaan afvragen wat nu ‘gewoon’ is, waarbij ik nu vooral het denken vanuit overeenkomsten of vanuit verschillen denk. En mijns inziens kan dit breder gezien worden dan in het onderwijs.

Als hier het dynamische proces van het ontwikkelen van psychologische veerkracht (van IJntema, 2021) naast wordt gelegd komen we wellicht samen verder in de richting van wat is er nodig om tegemoet te kunnen komen aan álle kinderen in een diverse klas. Hoe je vanuit de ideeën over psychologische veerkracht (voor jezelf én de personen die je begeleidt) hier in de basis ruimte voor kunt creëren.

Denkend specifieker aan onderwijs (of zorg) voor kinderen met kenmerken van hb, aan het werk dat jij doet, starten we deze workshop vanuit waarden en normen om richting eigen missie of ‘drive’ te gaan. Weten wat ons drijft maakt de discussies en focus sterker en dan combineren we met psychologische veerkracht.

Vanuit deze basis wil dan samen met jullie aan de slag gaan thema’s zoals: ‘versterken van je eigen professionaliteit’, ‘creativiteit vergroten door…’ of …


Voor mij zou deze bijeenkomst geslaagd zijn wanneer we samen het gesprek hebben kunnen voeren over ontwikkeling in de breedste zin van het woord, vanuit de eigen waarden en gestuurd door de eigen missie, waarbij we elkaar hebben kunnen inspireren en ondersteunen.



Liesbet Stam-Gommans is ruim 15 jaar werkzaam als orthopedagoog en later als schoolpsycholoog bij CBO Talent Development. Bij de koppeling tussen wat nodig kan zijn voor het individuele kind en de praktijk in een schoolse setting gebruikt Liesbet kennis en ervaringen uit haar eerdere werkzaamheden als leerkracht PO en schoolpsycholoog in het VO. Het combineren van kennis, ervaring, het opdoen van nieuwe inzichten en nieuwe ontwikkelingen volgen maakt het werk uitdagend en dynamisch.

Samen een leven lang leren vanuit eigenheid en kracht”, luidt haar missie.

Bij het CBO houdt Liesbet zich vooral bezig met adviesgesprekken met ouders en/of school, met nabesprekingen van de CBO groepsscreening, met superviseren, o.a. van de CBO Vooruitwerklabs op locatie, en geeft ze lezingen en workshops in het land.

Naast haar werk bij het CBO is Liesbet docent bij de RITHA opleiding (Radboud International Training on High Ability) binnen de Radboud Universiteit (RadboudCSW). Hierin verzorgt ze keuzemodules, is ze supervisor tijdens het blok Leren op je werkplek en begeleidt ze studenten bij het vormgeven van hun eindproduct. Hiernaast is ze betrokken bij verschillende seminars.


Vanaf komend jaar zal Liesbet ruimte gaan maken om het thema ‘Early Years’ verder uit te diepen vanuit een focus op de brede ontwikkeling van jonge kinderen.

10:45 – 11:15

Morning break

11:15 – 12:30

In-depth morning workshops (part 2)

12:30 – 13:30


13:30 – 14:45

In-depth afternoon workshops (part 1)

G. Strength-based, Talent-focused Model for Twice Exceptional Learners – Dr. Susan Baum

Who are the children we call twice exceptional?  How does the dual diagnosis impact their identities and result in profound complexities? For too long bright students with academic, behavioral, or social challenges are subjected to remediation and other strategies designed to “fix” them.  However, studies have shown that attention should be on developing what these 2e students can do by using a strength-based, talent focused approach. In short,  these students need  2e friendly environments at  home and school where these students feel safe to learn. In such an environments students find the courage to overcome their challenges and engage in learning with confidence and enthusiasm. To do this effectively,  we offer a strategy using the Suite of Tools to h identify students’ profiles and use that information to  create learning opportunities where these students can thrive. In the workshop you will learn how to collect data about students and how to use that information to create learning experiences and talent development opportunities.

H. Spiritual Giftedness - Csilla Fuszek

The first question to be answered by the workshop offering various interactive activities is who we consider spiritually intelligent/gifted, whether that person is an adult or a child. Is there any difference between the two at all? In the meantime, we get to know some of the definitions that have flooded us in recent years (Gardner, 1993, Emmons, 2000, Sisk-Torrance, 2001), and examine what we could identify/agree with.

Although there is no professional consensus on what spiritual intelligence exactly is, researches have agreed that it is worth developing because it is in connection with creativity, personal growth etc. (Piechowski, 2006) Based on the relevant literature (Kopp and Martos, 2011) and our own experience, the workshop aims to show how spiritual giftedness can relate to any other talent domains through its priority role in searching for meaning (Frankl, 1946), defining goals and establishing one’s well-being.

Finally, based on our teaching and other professional experience, we aim to grasp the practical means available for teachers to develop spiritual giftedness within a school context and during extracurricular activities.


Csilla Fuszek is director of the European Talent Centre Budapest. Of Hungarian nationality, Csilla Fuszek worked for over 15 years as a teacher in primary, secondary and higher education. Since 2000 she has been focused and become specialized in the field of gifted and talented education. As a civil servant she worked for 7 years as a managing director of nationwide talent development programs aimed to promote equal opportunities to the disadvantaged strata of society.


From 2007 – 2011 she was the managing director of the Csányi Foundation which is one of the biggest civil education foundations focusing on talent support in Hungary. She has been a lecturer at Eötvös Loránd University since 2008 and since 2009 she has been working for the Association of Hungarian Talent Support Organizations. Initially she was responsible for establishing international connections and for collecting best practices outside and inside Europe. More recently Csilla has become responsible for the newly formed European Talent Centre – Budapest.

I. Scars to Stars – Giving Diamonds in the rough a chance to shine, Mully Children’s Family Kenya - Ndondo Mutua, David Rempel, Kennedy Muli

The Mully Children’s Family (MCF) Workshop will not only give an overview of the theory of the Mully Model of Talent and Gift Development but also provide some experiences as to how the organisation has been able to rescue and rehabilitate over 25,000 marginalised children in Kenya over the last 32 years.

The methods and structure used to discover the hidden talents and gifts of the marginalised in Kenya within the organisation will be shared.

The interactive workshop will provide experiential learning of some of the methods used at MCF (e.g., using song and dance as methods of talent development, cultural understanding, respect etc., as a basis to develop other talents and gifts). Elements of the workshop will have some of the talents of MCF assisting in the workshop virtually.

The model’s long-term impact will be briefly analysed with case studies of recipients who are now professionals in the STEMM field, performing Artists, Athletes, Politicians, etc.

The complex structure of the MCF Actiotope will be discussed with a special focus on the support systems of talent development within the STEMM field, Performing Arts, Arts, Sports and others. In small groups, the participants will be given a chance to brainstorm potential transfer of methods and parts of the model from Kenya to other settings.

J. The role of community in the support and development of gifted children - Prof. Margaret Sutherland

This workshop will consider the role of community in the support and development of gifted children. Participants will have the opportunity of reflect on “community” and to share what community means to them in their context. They will identify and examine key issues children are facing, with particular consideration being given to the impact of the pandemic, political situations and the ongoing global issues connected to war, migration and climate change. Using pen portraits of gifted children and projects that bring together communities and cross generations, the session will consider the ways in which community engagement, intergenerational working and existing projects and events that are often being organised in school can be harnessed to maximise the learning potential of young people.


This workshop is for those interested and working in early years and primary education and connects to the theme ‘Supporting Talent Development & Personal Growth’.


Margaret Sutherland, PhD is Professor of High Ability Studies and Inclusive Practice. She is Director of Partnerships, Communication and External Engagement and Director of the Scottish Network for Able Pupils at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, UK. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. She is serves as Treasurer on the Executive Committee of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children. She has written articles in the field of high ability and is author of Gifted and Talented in the Early Years: A practical guide for 3-6 year olds and Developing the Gifted and Talented Young Learner.  Her first book is now in its second edition and has been translated into German and Slovenian. She has 41 years teaching experience in mainstream primary schools, behaviour support and latterly in higher education and so her work is primarily concerned with learning, teaching and pedagogy. She regularly gives keynote addresses at conferences and has led courses, workshops and seminars across the UK and has been invited to work with staff and students in Africa, Europe, Australasia, China and North America.

K. Fostering Creativity In and Outside of the Classroom – Dr. Matt Zakreski

Creativity is the mark of an engaged learner. But what is creativity? How do we foster it? And how do we allow our students to be creative while also following best practices in education and assessment? This interactive, hands-on session is about understanding what creativity is (and what it isn’t) and how to use it effectively in and outside the classroom. We will discuss manifestations of creativity, skills to make space for creativity in assessment, class discussion, and social-emotional learning.

L. Laat talent groeien! (in Dutch) – Prof.dr. Tessa Kieboom en Prof.dr. Kathleen Venderickx

In deze workshop gaan we na hoe je bij kinderen en jongeren met een sterk ontwikkelings-potentieel een analyse kan maken van de wijze waarop ze hun potentieel benutten. Op die manier kan er vanuit gerichte talentbegeleiding ingezet worden om de groei van talent vorm te geven. Door middel van casuïstiek en interactie met de deelnemers wordt duidelijk welke parameters bij dit groeiproces belangrijk zijn.



Prof. dr. Tessa Kieboom verdiept zich sinds 1998 in hoogbegaafdheid. Ze startte haar loopbaan onder mentorschap van Prof. dr. Franz Mönks. Door haar jarenlange praktijkervaring met meer dan 10000 hoogbegaafde jongeren en volwassenen is ze uitgegroeid tot een veelgevraagde experte in Vlaanderen en Nederland. Haar boek ‘Hoogbegaafd als je kind (g)een einstein is’ is er een standaardwerk. Ze is bestuurder van Exentra en co-titularis van de Leerstoel Hoogbegaafdheid aan de Uhasselt.



Prof. dr. ir. Kathleen Venderickx was gedurende 15 jaar professor energietechnieken aan de UHasselt en tevens grondlegger van een aantal bedrijven in de energiesector in België. Ze combineerde haar studies met topsport en heeft vele jaren ervaring in het coachen van topsporters. Ze is bestuurder van Exentra waar ze al meer dan 10 jaar mee haar schouders onder zet. Samen met Tessa Kieboom schreef ze het boek ‘Meer dan intelligent’ en ze is co-titularis van de Leerstoel Hoogbegaafdheid aan de Uhasselt.

14:45 – 15:15

Afternoon break

15:15 – 16:30

In-depth afternoon workshops (part 2)