Ohio Wesleyan Assistant Professor Elected Vice President of International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Sarah Bunnell, Ph.D.

Sarah Bunnell, Ph.D.

DELAWARE, OHIO – Ohio Wesleyan University faculty member Sarah Bunnell, Ph.D., has been elected as a vice president of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. The organization works to “foster inquiry and disseminate findings about what improves and articulates post-secondary learning and teaching.”

“I’m quite excited to be serving as a vice president for the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning for the next three years,” said Bunnell, an assistant professor of psychology who joined the Ohio Wesleyan faculty in 2011.

“In particular, I am interested in increasing the presence of liberal arts teachers and scholars in this discussion and community of practice,” Bunnell said. “[I]n some ways, we are ideally positioned to conduct research into teaching and learning because of the support for innovative pedagogies we are afforded. I’d like to highlight the good work that is coming out of liberal arts campuses and help us continue to improve our teaching and our students’ learning by connecting to this larger community of scholars.”

At Ohio Wesleyan, Bunnell teaches classes including Introduction to Psychology, Child Psychology, Adolescent Psychology, Clinical Child Psychology, and Applied Atypical Child Development.

An expert in developmental psychology, Bunnell’s pedagogical research focuses on the development and potential benefits of metacognitive reflection on student learning, both in individual courses as well as across students’ four years at the university.

“In a nutshell,” she explained, “I’m interested in how students learn to think about their own thinking, and whether helping students continuously reflect on their learning and themselves influences their success in the classroom, in their majors, and in their future trajectories.”

For example, Bunnell said, she works with her students to explore such questions as “How do I know if I know something? What questions do I have about the material I’m learning? How does this information connect to information I’ve learned in other courses?” as well as larger issues including “Who I am as a person? Who do I want to be?”

“As such,” Bunnell said, “my classrooms are my laboratories, and students are actively involved in this research on a continuous basis.”

Read her latest writing about her metacognitive research at www.improvewithmetacognition.com/exploring-developmental-progression-metacognition.

Bunnell has been involved with the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSoTL) since 2007, when she presented two papers at the annual conference in Sydney, Australia, along with co-author, Daniel Bernstein, Ph.D., of the University of Kansas, where she earned her doctoral degree in developmental and cognitive psychology with a minor in quantitative psychology.

Over the past eight years, Bunnell has presented 14 additional papers and workshops at ISSoTL conferences. She assumed her role as vice president July 1, and will attend the 2015 annual conference in October in Melbourne, Australia.

Learn more about the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning at www.issotl.com. Learn more about Bunnell and OWU’s Department of Psychology at http://psychology.owu.edu.


Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers 86 undergraduate majors and competes in 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Ohio Wesleyan combines a challenging, internationally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities to connect classroom theory with real-world experience. OWU’s 1,750 students represent 46 U.S. states and territories and 43 countries. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” listed on the latest President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction, and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at www.owu.edu.

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