Position: Professor - Education Psychology, Director of Projects and Tenders, ESRI Strand Coordinator (Social Inclusion)
Phone: (02) 4221 4434
Wilma's area of expertise is in educational psychology with a particular interest in the education of gifted students. She is interested in how giftedness is understood within different cultural contexts and how it is identified and nurtured in educational settings. Much of her work focuses on issues of social justice. Originally a high school teacher of English and Speech and Drama in Tasmania, she completed her doctorate at the University of South Florida in 1991. Her dissertation involved the application of Multiple Intelligences Theory in a study of economically disadvantaged preschoolers. She previously worked at the University of Tasmania and has been at the University of Wollongong since 1993.
- 1977 BEd in English, Speech and Drama from Tasmanian College of Advanced Education
- 1978 Tasmanian Teachers' Certificate from the Education Department of Tasmania
- 1988 MEd in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Tasmania
- 1991 PhD in Interdisciplinary Education/Psychology from the University of South Florida, USA.
Current research projects include:
- an international study of effective teachers of the gifted
- a longitudinal study of adolescent academic and social-emotional outcomes
- the development of expertise in competitive Scrabble players
- the development of spiritual understanding in children.
In addition to the above, she is interested in supervising Higher Degree Research students investigating the following areas:
- the impact of popular culture on giftedness
- gender issues in giftedness and school outcomes
- conceptions of giftedness and expertise development
- Russell Walton: Precursor, indicator or mirage: What relationship exists between spirituality and type of giftedness
- Denise Wood: Beauty or Brains? The impact of popular culture on the development of adolescent gifted girls' identity and subsequent talent development.
- Rosemary Cathcart: An investigation into the feasibility and significance of identifying potential moral leadership capability in adolescence
- Ruth Phillips: Patterns of social coping, self regulation, motivation and self efficacy in high achieving and underachieving gifted students: an Australian sample.
- Conor West: Professional disposition and career choice motivation in transitioning teachers
- Kylie Fraser-Seeto: Acute and Long-term effects of differing amounts of pre-service gifted education training on educators' attitudes and behaviours toward gifted and talented students
- Mary Boyle: A Longitudinal examination of young gifted women's aspirations, fulfilment of potential and life satisfaction in early post school years
- Han Jiang: An Examination of the Implementation of Class-Wide Positive Behaviour Support in a Chinese Primary School