Wassilios Emmanuel Fthenakis

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Wassilios Emmanuel Fthenakis

Professor Wassilios Emmanuel Fthenakis was born in Kilkis on November 2, 1937. He studied Anthropology and Molecular Genetics at the Physics / Maths School of the University of Munich. He then attended the Philosophy School of the same University as a psychology student. In 1967 he was awarded the Doctor’s Degree in Physics and Maths. In 1968 he graduated as a psychologist and in 1971 became a Doctor of the Philosophy School of the University of Munich. In 1986, he became a Doctor of the School of Biology and Ass.Professor at the same school.

From 1969 to 1972, he was Head of the Dept. of Social & Cultural Anthropology of the Institute of Anthropology and Human Genetics at the University of Munich. From 1973 to 1978, he was the Deputy Director of the State Institute of Pre-School Education and Research of the Ministry of Education of Bavaria and since 1975 he has been the Director of the same institute.
From 1982 to 1990, he was the President of the Committee of Pre-School Education and Research of the German Educational Society. From 1987 to 2002, he served as Professor of Applied Developmental Psychology and Family Research at the University of Augsburg. From 1994 up to and including 1995, he was the President of the Auditing Board of the International Centre for Family Studies in Bratislava. From 1994 up to and including 1998, he was a member of the Advisory Group of the Institute for Family Studies at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Since 1994, he has been a member of the Scientific Board of the Institute for Early Childhood and Family Research at the University of Potsdam. During academic year 1995-1996, he was a visiting Professor to the University of Newcastle and since 1997, he has been a member of the Scientific Board of the Institute of Demographic Studies and Social Research at the University of Bielefeld. Since 2000, he has been a member of the Forum of Instruction and Education of Pre-School Children of the Federal German Government. Since 2002, he has been a regular Professor of Developmental Psychology and Anthropology at the Free University of Bolzano (Faculty of Education).

The Federal Government of Germany appointed Mr. Fthenakis a member of the seven-member Committee of Scientists to prepare a report concerning the development of German families in the next 20 years.

Professor Fthenakis has taught at the Universities of Munich, Berlin, Augsburg, Muenster, Regensburg, Newcastle upon Tyne; today he is teaching at the University of Bolzano.

Professor Fthenakis is a regular active member of ten German and European scientific societies, which include the German Psychological Society, the German Educational Society, the German Society of Anthropology and Human Genetics, the German Society for Family Research and the European Early Childhood Research Association.

Professor Fthenakis is also a member of nine American scientific societies, which include: American Educational Research Association, American Psychological Association, Society for Research in Child Development, American Orthopsychiatric Association, International Society for the Study of Behavioral Development and others.

Professor Fthenakis has served as an expert of the Supreme Constitutional Court of Germany on matters of Family Law and has been the President of the German Institute for Family Research, Family Law and Family Policy. Professor Fthenakis has also been very active, since 1998, as a consultant to the Ministry of Education of Shanghai and the province of Zhejiang (People’s Republic of China) on matters of educational and family policy.

In Germany, Professor Fthenakis is a consultant to Bertelsmann Foundation and Robert Bosch Foundation; from 1997 to 2002, he was the President of “Palladion” Greek Foundation.

Professor Fthenakis is a consultant to the Federal Government of Germany, upon invitation of Chancellor Mr. Schroeder, the Secretary General of the Party, Mr. Scholz, as well as the Federal Minister for Families, Mr. Schmidt. He is also a consultant to the CDU, CSU political parties, the Green party and the local governments of the State of Bavaria, Essen, Baden Württemberg, Sachsen and Thüringen.

Professor Fthenakis undertook the Presidency of the Committee to develop a curriculum for the education of children below the age of 6 in Bavaria, which is a model for contemporary education to be adopted by many German States. Essen and Baden Württemberg States have recently appointed him President of the Committee to develop similar programs.

Professor Fthenakis has developed a wealth of research projects that includes more than 50 studies. Special mentioned should be made of the long-term study concerning the development of German families, the studies on the role of fathers within the family, his contribution to the education of children of immigrant origin, as well as the development of a modern organization model for the German educational system. This last project was presented in October 2003 as part of a study commissioned by the Federal German Government, which today defines the policy of the competent Federal Ministry. Professor Fthenakis has authored and co-published more than 30 scientific papers and has written more than 150 scientific articles published in internationally acclaimed journals.

Professor Fthenakis speaks Greek, German, English and French.

Since 1963, he has been living in Munich; he has been married since 1953 to lawyer Ekaterini Zouraris and they have two sons, Alexander and Philippe.