Exeter Humanities Institute - West

Our West Coast program runs July 7-11, 2024 

EHI West occurs at Bishop's School in La Jolla, California. 

The Exeter Humanities Institute West offers teachers an opportunity to experience the student-centered, discussion-based Harkness pedagogy of Phillips Exeter Academy. This program in La Jolla, California, features the same materials, instruction, and Phillips Exeter Academy faculty as the program in Exeter, New Hampshire. Engaging with peers from around the world, participants have a chance to recharge after a year of teaching, and spend five days learning as students and reflecting as teachers. While the program primarily serves secondary school teachers of English and History, teachers of other age groups and disciplines — particularly religion, the humanities and languages — are welcome.

The Harkness method is a wonderful way of injecting stimulating pedagogy into one's teaching while at the same time enriching the content of one's curriculum. Thank you for a week that was revitalizing. It was inspiring!"

Each day begins with morning classes. Participants study texts before class so they can engage in discussion as either a student, leader or observer. Following the discussion, participants explore issues and strategies of discussion-based learning. Participants may choose from a variety of afternoon activities, including attending workshops on the Harkness pedagogy, hearing presentations on curriculum, and preparing for the next day’s assignments.

Since the first Exeter Humanities Institute in 2000, conference leaders curate texts on a common topic to provide content that encourages interdisciplinary discussions in the classroom. Our 2024 topic will be Rivers.


Lauren Rosen, Conference manager

Tyler Caldwell, Conference director