The Mensa Foundation (www.mensafoundation.org) has given the Mensa Foundation Life Time Achievement Award and a US$ 1000 cheque to Dutch professor Frans Jozef Mönks. It was handed out by the international Mensa chair Willem Bouwens at the ECHA conference in Münster, Germany last Thursday. Professor Mönks was himself one of the founders of ECHA (see also http://www.echa2012.info), now the biggest and best conference in Europe about gifted children with over 1000 visitors.
Professor Mönks wrote his first article on highgiftedness in 1963, a time when highly giftedness was far from getting any attention. He pioneered in this area, and he has an impressive track record. He was also the founder of the excellent Centre for Research on Giftedness at the Radboud University in Nijmegen (the Netherlands), and at the age of 80 he is still working at the Radboud University on ‘psychology and pedagogy of the gifted child’. Also he continues publishing on the subject.
Mensa the Netherlands (www.mensa.nl) is very proud of him and the Life Time Achievement Award that recognizes the immense benefits of his work for gifted children!
We are working to start our own Mensa Foundation in The Netherlands, in cooperation with MERF that has its roots in American Mensa. The launch is planned in 2013 when Mensa the Netherlands celebrates its 50 year existence. Further news about that will follow….
For now, I like to congratulate professor Mönks and thank him for his ‘life time’ work!
A new Dutch book was published with 13 interviews of high gifted people: Ongekend hoogbegaafd / the unknown highgifted by Jacqueline Lucas. She wants to show ‘from the inside’ what it is like to be high gifted, how this advantage can come with difficulties and under what conditions it will develop as a real advantage. The presentation of the book was last Friday, and the room was packed with participants. It was interesting to see how many people nowadays feel for this subject, even claim ownership of the theme. Quite some participants got recently aware of their high intelligence, and were in the middle of the process of ‘what does this mean for me’.
It is very good that talent development gets more and serious attention. The problem side of highgiftedness is still a bit over-represented in my opinion, but let’s hope and contribute so that that will stabilize. We need more policies to profit from the talents that we have in our country.
A recent government study shows that the Dutch education system can do more than average for weak students, compared to other European countries, but it can do less than average for strong students…. And we claim that our future lies in a good and strong knowledge economy. There is some work to be done then! Let’s go for it, and include high gifted people both in our education and in our working environment.