Our school appreciates and uses
the Harkness Method in teaching
Developed at Phillips Exeter Academy, the Harkness Method is used by many of the most prestigious schools. Courses are taught around a large oval table, where students sit with their teachers. Philanthropist Edward Harkness created the Harkness Method in the early 1930’s because he did not believe his lectures were resonating with his students. He wanted to change his teaching approach from a lecture based method to more of a discussion and free flowing thought process. He believed he could better connect with students by engaging in discussion and fostering new ideas with small groups of students.
AITA has adopted this theory along with elements of the Harkness Method to challenge our students and teach them invaluable discussion and debate skills. This method encourages discursive and Socratic learning rather than traditional lecturing. Around the Harkness table, classrooms transform into personal and expressive havens.
Another relevant dimension by using this study method is connected to teacher-student relation.
Namely, teacher should use to 25% of total class participation and remaining 75% should be taken by students. This means teacher would need to initiate and control the student interactions, only provide them with certain guidelines and make sure they use appropriate sources and facts while sharing their opinions and arguments to other classmates.