Good Reads / Professional Activity

Wendy Ostroff – Understanding How Young Children Learn

Dr. Wendy Ostroff

Dr. Wendy Ostroff

Dr. Wendy Ostroff (Hutchins School of Liberal Studies) is the author of the recent book, Understanding How Young Children Learn: Bringing the Science of Child Development to the Classroom (ASCD, 2012), which advocates for the integration of brain and research-based instruction into pedagogy and curriculum by bringing to light processes that inspire or propel learning – such as play, confidence, self-regulation, movement, mnemonics, metacognition, articulation and collaboration.

She published an article entitled, “Don’t Just Sit There: Pay Attention,” in the October 2014 issue of Educational Leadership, which focused on attention as an active process, requiring movement to function well (quite antithetical to our common practice of training children to sit still in class).

In February 2015, Dr. Ostroff was an invited speaker at the 2015 Learning & the Brain Conference. Her talk, “Born to Learn: Motivating and Engaging Learners from a Developmental Science Perspective” attempted  to mend the disconnect between cognitive and developmental scientists in the laboratory, and educators on the ground.

Dr. Ostroff is also under contract with ASCD publishing house for an upcoming book entitled, The Curiosity Classroom. She is a cognitive and developmental psychologist, who specializes in perception, learning science and metacognition, with research experience as a scientist in the Infant Perception Laboratory at Virginia Tech; as a visiting scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany; and as a Carnegie Scholar with the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching at Stanford University.

She has been developing curriculum on learning for the past 15 years in the SSU Hutchins School of Liberal Studies as well as in the Department of Education and Child Study at Smith College, and the program for the Advancement of Learning at Curry College.