Harkness Teaching Tools

Here are a set of tools developed by Exeter instructors that teachers anywhere can use to observe, assess and enhance classroom participation. We hope you will find these useful in implementing student-centered learning in your classrooms and schools. 

At Exeter, instructors routinely use the table diagram to map classroom interactions as they unfold. You may want to invite a classroom observer to help with data capture for the other tools.

The Table

The TableThe Table is an oblong that helps you map who speaks. Teachers use this, often with students, to reflect on participation and interactions. Download here.

Time Speaking

Sample from Time Speaking worksheet.The Time Speaking bar graph helps you track interactions in more detail, including the duration and order of comments. Download here.

Student Comments

Sample from Time Student Comments worksheet.The Student Comments form provides snapshots from the classroom. It was designed to isolate individual student contributions and behaviors over one class period.  Download here.

Body Language

Body Language tracker for the Harkness classroomThe Body Language tracker is useful for teachers new to discussion-based teaching. It helps attune instructors to nonverbal participation and can provide insight into the ways quieter students engage. Download here.

More to Explore

What Teachers Say

Learning from practitioners can help. Read these essays from faculty and students at Exeter. 

Go to the page titled What Teachers Say

EMI Math Materials

We call it math that sticks. See the activity books we’ve developed for EMI workshops.

Go to the page titled EMI Math Materials

“A Classroom Revolution”

Order a copy of this book comprising 30 essays written by Exeter faculty and students, and teachers who have implemented Harkness learning methods in other schools.

Go to the page titled “A Classroom Revolution”