Every student participates actively in each classroom session, enhancing their focus and improving content retention.
Students learn to support their stances by creating their own analytical arguments and drawing connections between different sources of information.
By driving the classroom discussion, students develop stronger real-world leadership and communication skills that they can apply beyond the classroom.
The Harkness Method is a teaching and learning method involving students seated in a large, oval configuration to discuss ideas in an encouraging, open-minded environment with only minimal external intervention. The teacher serves as a guide to frame the conversation, and participates more as a colleague than as head of the classroom during the discussion. Students take ownership of their own learning, and come prepared to engage in the conversation.
By contrast, the Traditional Model of education involves the teacher speaking at the students, with minimal interaction amongst students. When compared to the Traditional Model, the Harkness Method allows students to develop higher-order thinking and reasoning skills, and learn to work collaboratively in a group setting.
The Harkness Method relies on small classroom sizes to allow students to meaningfully and consistently participate during each discussion session. This creates a tight-knit learning environment, where students feel safe to take academic risks, and learn to work collaboratively in a group setting.
Read more about the history of the Harkness method, its impact in the classroom, and find out for yourself why many of the world's top schools have adopted his teaching methodology in their classrooms.
Stanford University Undergraduate
"The Harkness Method played a significant role in honing my ability to communicate with my professors and classmates. To be able to interact while facing each other was important in creating a more comfortable and collaborative environment."
UC Berkeley Undergraduate
"As I am learning now, college courses itself are far more independent than high school courses, and I think the Harkness model was a beneficial way of letting students be more independent by discussing among themselves rather than through teacher intervention."
University of San Diego Undergraduate
"The Harkness Model encouraged me as a student to take the lead in the learning process by engaging with the material. Having thoughtful discussions with my classmates and formulating my ideas aloud helped me to better understand difficult concepts."
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