Aydelotte Foundation

Initiatives for 2014-2015


Last spring, the Aydelotte Foundation began its support of a feasibility study for Creative Research Lab, known as CoRaL to support pedagogical and curricular innovation. The study is examining the ways in which Swarthmore students and faculty could explore the relationship between nature and design, broadening the opportunity for interdisciplinary study. A website is being designed that will allow members of the College to easily access the CoRaL study upon its completion.

Faculty Pedagogy Seminar

Beginning in September and running through the academic year, this seminar will bring together twelve faculty members from different disciplines who will work in pairs to observe, discuss and refine one another’s teaching strategies. The seminar will focus on three key areas: learning through observation, peer coaching, and reflective practice. Members of the seminar will form a small intentional community, dedicated to helping one another flourish as teachers and learners. Part of the communal quest for meaning will involve describing together some of the ways critical thinking and knowledge design can be nurtured and learned.

Salon Series

The Aydelotte Foundation announces the kick-off of a new salon series. Come to an Aydelotte Foundation Salon for…open-ended, frank talk about academic life…no policy-making, no deliberation, no reports…discussions that matter, but not too much. Hosted by Tim Burke, the Aydelotte Foundation Salon is meant to be a social, light-hearted island of meaningful conversation in the middle of our busy, intense lives as teachers, scholars and colleagues. It’s not a committee: there’s nothing that we need to do or decide. It’s not just small talk about the weather: we’ll talk about a question or challenge that’s an important part of our professional lives. Come once, come often, any time and every time you’re available and in the mood. We’ll have refreshments and a question of the day to ponder. Two salons (10/2 and 10/30) have been scheduled for the fall semester; contact the Aydelotte Foundation for details.

Second Tuesday Social Sciences Cafe

“I think faculty members' willingness to share their expertise with staff builds good will and a sense of connection and commitment to what goes on in classrooms and labs – and more generally, the mission of the College” — from a Science Cafe audience member. Once again, all faculty and staff are invited to come together for a light lunch and some learning. The Foundation’s popular cafe series continues with monthly presentations by faculty members for faculty and staff — this time with a focus on the social sciences. The 2014-15 series will be convened by Erin Bronchetti (Economics) and will focus on topics ranging from the Obama Doctrine to the economics of MOOCs. Events are geared for individuals with no formal background in the social sciences. The only requirement is curiosity. Talks will last about 35 minutes, allowing plenty of time for Q&A.