The World Association of Educational Research, founded during the Oslo Congress (Norway) in 1961, finds its origins in the first international conference on university teaching of the pedagogical sciences, which took place in Gand, in September 1953, under the initiative of professors RL Plancke and R. Verbist. This congress was organized on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Institute of Pedagogical Sciences of the State University, Gand (Belgium). The need for a broader international cooperation in the field of pedagogical research was debated during this congress and retained as a topic of primary interest. Not only was it decided to organize further congresses, but it was also agreed to take the initiative to create an international association with the purpose of extending communications between universities and stimulating researchers. To this end, a secretariat was established in Gand, and a first president was appointed, Professor Dr. R. Verbist. A temporary council composed of members from different countries was also constituted.
The second international Congress for the university education of the pedagogical sciences was realized in Florence (Italy) in September of the 1957, under the presidency of professor Giovanni Calò. In this congress, it was decided to confirm the decision made in Gand to create an international association. The Congress entrusted the direction of the Association to a Council composed of twenty members representing a certain number of countries. The Congress appointed as a result of the Council, a working committee composed of five members: the professors M. Debesse, M. J. Langeveld, R. L. Plancke, J. Sandven and W. A. C Stewart.
The task of this work committee was, among others, to prepare the Association's bylaws so that a final project could be presented and ratified in the next Congress. The elected members of the secretariat were Professor Dr. R.L. Plancke, president, and professor Dr. R. Verbist, secretary.
During the Oslo Congress in 1961, under the chairmanship of Professor Dr. J. Sandven, the statutes were ratified and the World Association of Education Sciences was formally constituted.
As determined in article 2 of the bylaws, the purpose of the Association is to promote scientific research in the field of education and teaching of the sciences of education at the university level and internationally, by publishing or promoting scientific publications, the exchange of information between members or with third parties, the establishment of linking centers, and any other legal means that leads or may lead to such purpose.
The persons eligible as members are the professors of universities and any other person whose academic and scientific qualifications correspond to the objectives of the Association.