The World Association for Educational Research, founded at the Congress in Oslo (Norway) I, 1961 has its origins in the first international congress on the university teaching of educational sciences which was held in Ghent in September 1953, on the initiative of professors R. L. Plancke and R. Verbist. This congress was organized on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Institute of Educational Sciences of the State University of Ghent (Belgium). The need for greater international cooperation in the domain of educational research was discussed during this congress and was recognized as a subject of major importance. It was decided not only to organize subsequent congresses but also to take the step of founding an international association in order to extend communication between universities and to stimulate research. To this end, a secretariat was established in Ghent and a first President was appointed, Professor Dr R. Verbist. A temporary council, with members from different countries, was likewise created.
The second international congress for the university teaching of educational sciences was held in Florence (Italy) in September, under the presidency of Professor Giovanni Calò. At this congress, it was decided to confirm the decision made at the Ghent conference and to found an international association. The congress entrusted the management of the Association’s affairs to a council composed of twenty members representing a certain number of countries. From this Council, the congress further set up a working committee composed of five members: Professors M. Debesse, M.J. Langeveld, R.L. Plancke, J. Sandven and W. A. C. Stewart.
The task of this committee was, among other things, to prepare the Statutes of the Association so that a final proposal could be presented and ratified at the following congress. The elected members of the secretariat were Professor Dr R.L. Plancke, President and Professeor Dr R. Verbist, Secretary.
At the Oslo Congress in 1961, presided over by Professor Dr J. Sandven, the Statutes were ratified and the World Association for Educational Research was formally created.
As was stated in Article 2 of the Statutes, the aim of the Association is to promote scientific research in the field of education and the teaching of the sciences of education at university level and internationally, by the production or advancement of scientific publications, by the exchange of information among members or with other persons, by the establishment of liaison centers, finally by any other lawful means leading or possibly leading to this end.
Those eligible for membership are university teachers or any other persons whose academic and scientific qualifications are appropriate to the aims of the Association.