Essays on Harkness

One of the best ways to learn about Harkness is from practitioners — whether through direct classroom observation or reading their reflections. Below is a selection of essays written by PEA teachers and students.


In "Reflections on Teaching," Exeter Science Instructor Mark Hiza asks: "To what extent do I make the students responsible for their own learning? When should I step in with an explanation? What level of rigor should I expect from them? What constitutes an enjoyable classroom experience?" Read "Reflections on Teaching." 


Listening is Essential

"One of the hardest things about learning to teach is learning to listen. It’s also one of the most essential." writes Nita Pettigrew, emerita instructor in English, in her seven-page essay. Read "The Art of Listening."  


The Student Point of View

Exeter students "may learn to speak and to listen. And they have to do it together, so that the result is not just many well-spoken individuals, but a community," writes Gloria Gong '03 about her experiences with Harkness. Read "Power at the Table."


The Teacher Grows

In her "essai à la Montaigne," Modern Languages Instructor Evelyn Christoph describes her experiences teaching language at Exeter. Read "The Art of Harkness: Language Learning Around the Table."


Teaching Math

"Teachers delivering content, on either traditional or innovative platforms, miss the mark," write Exeter Math Instructors Karen Geary and Sami Atif in this eight-page essay. Read "Harkness Math."


You can find these essays and more in “A Classroom Revolution: Reflections on Harkness Learning and Teaching.” Copies available for order at the Exeter bookstore.

More to Explore

“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 concepts in other schools.

Go to the page titled “A Classroom Revolution”