January 18, 2017
RESEARCH STUDY AT WELLESLEY HIGH SCHOOL
PURPOSE AND CONTENT OF STUDY
A doctoral student from Harvard University is planning to collect data for his dissertation at Wellesley High School. His research examines how students experience high school in a time of increasing academic pressure and competition for admission to college. The data collection involves focus-group and one-on-one interviews with students as well as observations in classrooms and other school spaces such as the library or hallways. This research will inform the doctoral student’s dissertation and scholarly publications. For more information about the study, please visit: http://projects.iq.harvard.edu/highschool/
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR MY CHILD?
Your child will automatically be part of the observational component of the study. This means it is possible that the doctoral student will collect observations in one or more classes that your child is taking in the next 4-5 months.
The interview part of the study, in contrast, will involve only a small sample of students from Wellesley High. No student will participate in an interview without parental consent. Parents of eligible students will be notified about these interviews at a later point in the semester.
POTENTIAL BENEFITS OF THE STUDY
The study is likely to yield important insights for parents and the staff of Wellesley High School on how they might help students to better navigate high school and cope with the pressures of the college application process.
There are only minimal risks associated with the study. Some students may feel initially more self-conscious when being observed during class. But this feeling typically wears off quickly as students get used to being observed.
The doctoral student guarantees that all collected data will be treated as strictly confidential. Neither the name of the school nor the names of any individuals will be recorded or published in any publications of the student’s work.
WHAT DO I NEED TO DO?
If you would like to support the doctoral student’s study, no action is required.
If you wish to exempt your child from being included in the classroom observations, please respond to this message by January 23, choosing from the following two options:
Online: Follow this link and fill out the short online form.
Email: Send a short message with the subject line “Opt-out – WHS study” to the principal investigator of the study, Stefan Beljean, at sbeljean.
Department of Sociology
574 William James Hall
33 Kirkland Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Harvard’s research review board
Committee on the Use of Human Subjects
Diane Zinck, Principal’s Secretary
Wellesley High School
50 Rice Street
Wellesley, MA 02481
(781)446-6290 x 4607