Humanizing Teaching and Learning through Pedagogical Partnership

An ever-expanding body of evidence demonstrates benefits of pedagogical partnerships for student and faculty development and learning. Student and faculty partners consistently report enhanced empathy for each other, informed by insights into each other as humans and the complexities inherent to learning and teaching. During this challenging time for our institutions, as we support student learning after a global pandemic in the context of complicated socio-political campus dynamics, might pedagogical partnerships provide a way forward, grounded in principles of empathy, co-learning, and relationships? This keynote will provide an overview of pedagogical partnership before presenting the Being Human in STEM initiative, a student-faculty-staff partnership that arose from a campus protest and has now been adapted across the country. What can be learned from this experience, of partnering with students and helping students partner with others, to inform how we help our institutions, our students, and ourselves prioritize relationships, empathy, and care?

  • image of Sarah Bunnell

    Sarah Bunnell, Ph.D.

    Director, Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning and Associate Professor of Psychology; Elon University

    Director of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning at Elon University and Past-President of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL), Bunnell is an internationally recognized leader in the scholarship of teaching and learning and faculty development. Much of her work has explored pedagogical partnership and the factors that contribute to successful and equitable partnerships and learning outcomes. In her previous position at Amherst College, Bunnell co-designed (with Riley Caldwell-O’Keefe) a pedagogical partnership program and partnered with Dr. Sheila Jaswal, Megan Lyster, and countless students and colleagues on the “Being Human in STEM (HSTEM)” initiative (see Bunnell, Jaswal, & Lyster, 2023, Routledge Press). The HSTEM grew out of a 4-day student protest and occupation of the Amherst College library in 2015, in which students holding marginalized identities on campus spoke to their experiences of exclusion and lack of belonging on campus. Now taught across the country, HSTEM seeks to prepare students, faculty, and staff to face moments of challenge and crisis as partners. Through this work, Bunnell and colleagues are working to support educators across the country to work in partnership with their students to enable all individuals in the community to thrive, as full humans, in the academy.

    Sarah Bunnell received her Ph.D. in Developmental and Cognitive Psychology, with a minor in Quantitative Methods, from the University of Kansas.