GERRIC Director's Profile
Dr Miraca U. M. Gross is Professor of Gifted Education in UNSW's School of Education as well as Director of GERRIC. She is recognised nationally and internationally as a leading authority on the education of gifted and talented students.
Miraca holds MEd and PhD degrees in gifted education. She began her career as a teacher and has 22 years' experience as a classroom teacher and school administrator in State education systems in Scotland and Australia. For 12 years she was a specialist teacher of gifted and talented children in several different classroom settings, including the regular classroom, cluster grouped classes, pullout programs, and fulltime classes.
Miraca's research interests include: issues in the socio-affective development of gifted students including self-esteem and motivational orientation: gifted children's conceptions of friendship; short-term and long-term outcomes of educational interventions; the use of academic acceleration; teacher perceptions of, and attitudes towards, gifted students.
Over the span of her career Miraca has won five international research awards. In 1987 she became the first non-American to win the Hollingworth Award for Excellence in Research in the Education and Psychology of the Gifted. In 1990 Miraca was awarded, for the second time, the Mensa International Education and Research Foundation Award for Excellence, becoming the first person to win this award twice. In November 1995 she was honoured by the American National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) with their Early Scholar Award, and this was followed in 2005 by NAGC's Distinguished Scholar Award. Miraca is the only non-American to be honoured with this Award.
Miraca served for six years as President of the Gifted and Talented Children's Association of South Australia and has been honoured with life membership of that Association. From 1995 - 1999 she served on the seven-person Executive of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children.
In December 1995 Miraca received the University of New South Wales Vice - Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching. In 1997 the Australian Federal Government honoured her with the inaugural Australian Award for University Teaching in Education. In 2003 the Australian College of Educators honoured her with the Sir Harold Wyndham Medal for outstanding services to Australian education.
Miraca is well known for her longitudinal study on the academic, social and emotional development of 60 highly gifted Australian gifted children. Her book, Exceptionally Gifted Children, which was published in 1993 by Routledge of London and New York, traced the first ten years of the study. It received worldwide acclaim and the second edition, which covers the second decade of the study, was published in 2003. In Her Own Write: A Lifetime in Gifted Education, a collection of Miraca's artilces and book chapters is due to be published on 2010. (Download an order form (PDF) (135 Kb)).
In June 2008 she was recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours List with Membership in the Order of Australia.
Miraca's recreational interests include contract bridge, reading, reading and more reading, Scottish history, food, wine and, not least, delighting in the company of her husband, John and their cat, Marie.