Summer Program

Students selected as Chesick Scholars will attend a five-week summer session from June 28 to August 1, 2015.

Each student will enroll in 2 classes:

  • 1-credit quantitative/science class meeting 8 hours per week
  • 1-credit writing-intensive class, meeting 8 hours per week

Both courses will have regular daily assignments and exams, and will be graded. The topics of these courses will be listed elsewhere, as they will change from summer to summer.

This is a residential program, so all students will live together in the dorms, participate in classes during the week and recreational activities and trips during the weekends.

There will be a graduate residential director (RD) and two student residential assistants (RAs) living with the Chesick Scholars during the summer program. They will help with orientation to the campus and resources, organize evening and weekend study sessions, and plan weekend activities.

Summer Institute Director's Report 2014


Summer Courses 2015

Each Chesick Scholar chooses ONE of Course A or B and ONE of Course C or D

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  • Course A: Quaker Learning: A History of Social Justice

    Emma Lapsansky-Warner, Emeritus Professor of History

    Looking for the opportunity to read other peoples’ mail? Curious about how families might pursue the task of passing on their values to the future generations? Quakers, and Quaker educational institutions like Haverford, have a reputation of a long tradition of social justice activism and racial-justice leadership. This course is built upon letters circulated within families as nineteenth-century Quaker individuals sought to stay connected across geographical space, and to hold onto their values of how to live a moral and ethical life. We’ll be reading parents’ exchanges with their children at Westtown, a Quaker boarding school, and studying Quakers’ anti-slavery strategies, as well as the letters of an1838 Haverford alum, reflecting his work with freed slaves during the Civil War era.

    Through lectures, reading, and hands-on archival research, students will also explore how American Quakers viewed “education” and its goals, and how the Quaker community sought to maintain its cohesion through stressful times. Quaker theology and family life, as well as an exploration of the social/political backdrop of nineteenth century—including the tension between Quakers’ commitment to abolishing slavery and their equally-strong proscriptions against war--will serve as the focus for examining questions of community identity, and methods of defining and remaining loyal to that identity. Enhanced library, writing, and collaborative research skills are among the primary goals of this course, which seeks also to introduce students to some elements of Quaker history and thought, as a model for studying any community that aims to develop and sustain unified values about the way a life should be lived. (1 credit)

  • Course B: Reproduction or Mobility: Analyzing Social Class Theory through Ethnographic and Empirical Research in Schools

    Heather Curl, Lecturer in Education

    Is the United States the land of opportunity or an unjust nation that reproduces inequality based on social class and race? Investigating the role that social class plays in society is a concern dominating studies in the fields of sociology, anthropology and education. Despite the persistent narrative of the American Dream and our commitment to education’s role in mitigating inequality, qualitative research done in school settings has offered tremendous insight on how social class might be reproduced and the role that schools play in this process.

    This course actively investigates theories of social class and reproduction through the lens of ethnographies of school sites. Looking through critical lenses throughout the semester, we discuss theoretical conceptions of education and social reproduction. Issues of culture and identity (race, gender, social class, sexual orientation, ability, family and community) are also considered through the ethnographies discussed and analyzed. We will also explore what qualitative research is and practice collecting qualitative data ourselves. Over the course of the five week class, students will develop research projects that they will share in a symposium for the Haverford community. (1 credit)

  • Course C: Thinking Syntactically: Introduction to Linguistics

    Shizhe Huang, Associate Professor of Chinese and Linguistics; C.V. Starr Professor of Asian Studies

    In school, we all learned from our teachers the rules for writing properly in our language. But are there rules underpinning how sentences are formed that are not taught? Have you ever wondered why it is in English that one has to say zero children, not zero child? That is, why mark plurality on a noun when the modifier zero clearly indicates there is no plurality? You may be surprised to hear that What type of English did he say did she speak? is a well-formed sentence. Well, it is, at least in the English spoken in Belfast, Northern Ireland. As for words like at and with, which appear BEFORE the noun as in at home and with a hammer, their counterparts appear AFTER the noun in Japanese, so what is called pre-position in English is actually post-position in another language.

    So should we assume that each language follows its own rules or do we have reason to believe that human languages share some fundamental principles, not just for communicative purposes, but principles applying at the level of sentence formation? These are the questions we will tackle in Thinking Syntactically, where we will examine raw data and build a syntactic theory, namely a theory on sentence structure, from the ground up. We will arrive at a fairly sophisticated theoretical model within which you will tackle a specific syntactic issue of your choosing, be it English or any language. (1 credit)

  • Course D: Applied Statistics

    Rob Manning, Professor of Mathematics; Jeff Tecosky-Feldman, Senior Lecturer in Mathematics

    The course will involve an introduction to statistics, with an emphasis on concepts (like bias and randomness) over algebra and formulas (though there will be a few formulas). The class will culminate with a project in which students choose a statistical question, design a data-collection process, do the actual data collection, and perform a hypothesis test to answer their question. This course is suitable for students with an interest in any field (Humanities, Social Science or Natural Science) who desire to have a basic understanding of statistical ideas without much mathematical formalism (so, for example, calculus is not used nor required). (1 credit)

    Note: Students with an AP Statistics score of 4 or 5 may find the course too repetitive, and should consider course C instead.