Exceptionally Gifted Children

Exceptionally Gifted Children

Exceptionally Gifted Children

Exceptionally Gifted Children


Exceptionally Gifted Children is unique. The first edition of this book, published in 1993, introduced 15 remarkable children, some of the most gifted young people ever studied, and traced their path through school, exploring their academic achievements (and in some cases enforced underachievement), their emotional development, their social relationships and their family relationships and upbringing. This new edition reviews these early years but also follows the young people over the subsequent ten years into adulthood. No previous study has traced so closely and so sensitively the intellectual, social and emotional development of highly gifted young people. This 20 year study reveals the ongoing negative academic and social effects of prolonged underachievement and social isolation imposed on gifted children by inappropriate curriculum and class placement and shows clearly the long lasting benefits of thoughtfully planned individual educational programs. The young adults of this study speak out and show how what happened in school has influenced and still influences many aspects of their lives. Miraca Gross provides a clear, practical blueprint for teachers and parents who recognise the special learning needs of gifted children and seek to respond effectively.


The first edition of this book was published in 1993 and traced the intellectual, academic, social and emotional development of 15 remarkably gifted Australian children of IQ 160+ from a nationwide study of 40 such young people. Since it went out of print in the latter part of the decade RoutledgeFalmer have had very many requests to reissue it.

With the agreement of my editors I have decided to keep the first nine chapters much as they were in the first edition, reflecting the situation as it was for the children of this study prior to 1993, but to add two additional chapters. Chapter 10 traces the history, over the last 10 years, of the 15 children in the original book, bringing them up to early 2003, and introduces three more young people from the study - which now comprises 60 of the most remarkable young people ever studied. Chapter 11 draws together the main findings from the study, which is now in its twentieth year, and discusses how the education of gifted and talented children has changed over the last decade.

The changes I have made in the first nine chapters consist mainly of including findings from some of the most important research studies in gifted education which have been conducted internationally since the publication of the first edition. These, however, are not comprehensive changes and I strongly encourage readers to seek out the published studies and familiarize themselves with fuller details of the findings.

To readers who are familiar with the first edition of the book, may I say one thing. You may be tempted to turn first to Chapter 10 to find what has happened, over the last 10 years, to Hadley, Ian, Chris, Roshni, Sandie and the others. Do resist the temptation. These young people are now in their twenties. The seeds of what has happened over the last 10 years were planted in the first 10. Read their stories sequentially from the beginning of the book and they will be much more meaningful.

As indicated in Chapter 1, the names of the children and families in this study are pseudonyms selected by the families themselves. Every one of the young people who appeared in the first edition of this book has chosen to retain his or her pseudonym.

Miraca U.M. Gross
March, 2003

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