Harkness

 

Harkness teaching is a dialogic pedagogy that invites a radical reconsideration of classroom dynamics, especially regarding the roles played by students and teachers in the learning process. Rather than standing at the front of the class as a "sage on the stage," teachers in the Harkness method sit at round tables alongside their learners, acting as facilitators for students who drive and regulate their own learning. Building on constructivist tradition, students working in this way are "collaborative inquirers." But how exactly does Harkness work? What are its essential components? How can it help all students by accommodating for learning differences? These are just some of the questions we have been considering with teachers and students at our partner school, Phillips Exeter Academy, which created Harkness.