Wendy Ostroff

Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Liberal Arts:
Cognitive Science/Developmental Psychology
Ph.D. (2000) and M.S. (1998) in Psychological Science/Developmental Psychology,
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University: Blacksburg, Virginia.
Email: ostroff@sonoma.edu
Office: Rachel Carson 65

Professional and Personal Interests

The foundation of my scholarly and research interests is cognitive and developmental science from a dynamic systems approach. Empirically, I have focused on development as a process, with new order and form arising from the influence of multiple factors. My projects have increased understanding of how infants and children learn and develop in the areas of speech perception, attention and arousal, and language production. This work on the development of learning and my commitment to systems thinking has been a natural lead-in to a research program in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL). Within this innovative new research area, I have focused on student metacognition and its relationship to both a sense of ownership over one’s education, and to improved engagement and learning. Most recently, I have combined my SoTL work and developmental science background in a book entitled, Understanding Children’s Learning: Bringing the Science of Child Development to the Classroom. My goals as a teacher include increasing engagement, enthusiasm and empowerment; increasing awareness of how we see and understand the world; increasing movement in how we think, question and articulate; and increasing consciousness of how we live as citizens.

Selected Publications

  • Ostroff, W.L. (book proposal under review). Understanding Children’s Learning: Bringing the Science of Child Development to the Classroom. ASCD.
  • Ostroff, W.L. (in preparation). Raising Metacognitive Awareness Increases Student Responsibility for the Learning Process. Teaching of Psychology.
  • Ostroff, W.L. (under review). Before Conception: Genetics, Heredity & Environment. In Woolfolk & Perry (Eds.), Child Development. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
  • Ostroff, W.L. (under review). Prenatal Development and Childbirth. In Woolfolk & Perry (Eds.), Child Development. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
  • Ostroff, W.L. (under review). Physical Development in Infancy and Toddlerhood. In Woolfolk & Perry (Eds.), Child Development. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
  • Ostroff, W.L. (under review). Social and Emotional Development. In Woolfolk & Perry (Eds.), Child Development. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
  • Cooper, J.S., Ostroff, W.L. & Cooper, R.P. (1998). The Role of Rate in Directing Attention to Infant-Directed Speech: A Replication. Infant Behavior and Development, 21, 356.
  • Irwin, J.R., Green, J.A., Gustafson, G.E., & Ostroff, W.L. (1996). The Role of the Face in Perception of Infant Sounds: A First Look. Infant Behavior and Development, 19, 523.