Harkness Outreach


Teachers trained each year in intensive on-campus workshops

Partnering to Improve Schools

Through partnerships we are helping public schools benefit from collaborative, discussion-based Harkness learning. After seven years of partnering with Exeter, the small town of Raymond, New Hampshire has seen significant gains in the percentage of students who graduate from competitive four-year colleges, now beating most NH public schools. Noble Academy, a Chicago charter opened in 2014, is working with Exeter to improve educational performance for its students – 83 percent of whom are financially disadvantaged – and bring four-year college graduation rates from a citywide percentage in the low double digits up to 75 percent for Noble pupils.

Training Teachers Around the World

We host eight professional development conferences at Exeter during the summer. These intensive one-week workshops attract more than 450 teachers from a broad spectrum of schools, including private, parochial and public schools in the U.S. and abroad. All based on Harkness learning concepts, the conferences focus on specific subjects, including science, Shakespeare, writing, environmental literature and diversity. We continue to develop new conferences to meet demand, most recently launching the Environmental Literature Institute at Exeter and the Diversity Institute.

Exeter Mathematics Institute takes Harkness teaching and our custom-developed math materials to schools around the U.S. and Europe for workshops taught by PEA math instructors.

Alumni Commitment to Harkness Learning

PEA alums bring collaborative, student-centered learning to schools in the U.S. and abroad through their own work, people like Jenna Leahy ’06 who founded CASA Academy in Phoenix; Bryan Contreras ’91 who works with the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) network in Houston; and Jennie Niles ‘84, D.C. deputy mayor for education.

Meaningful and enduring learning requires the determined engagement of students in a power-neutral environment that welcomes questions, encourages discourse, and emphasizes collaboration … through the dialogue and discussions that happen ‘at the table.’"
Drew Stephens ’82, head of school, Southridge School

Contact Us

Summer Professional Development Conferences at Exeter: Rachel Hanson, 603-777-4471

Exeter Mathematics Institute: Gwyn Coogan, 603-777-3764

Harkness Outreach programs: Meg Foley 

More to Explore

Chicago Hope

Can PEA’s collaboration with a big-city charter academy transform American public high school education? – from The American Scholar

Go to the page titled Chicago Hope

Learning to Share

A graduate of the Exeter Humanities Institute describes the workshop’s impact on her teaching. – from Independent School Magazine

Go to the page titled Learning to Share