Exeter Humanities Institute

June 25-30, 2023

The Exeter Humanities Institute offers teachers an opportunity to experience the student-centered, discussion-based Harkness pedagogy of Phillips Exeter Academy. Living together on Exeter’s campus for five days, participants learn as students and reflect as teachers. By engaging with peers from around the world, participants also have a chance to recharge after a year of teaching. 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. 

Conference programming begins Sunday and includes a Harkness demonstration. On Monday and throughout the week, 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: attending workshops on the Harkness pedagogy and presentations on curriculum, preparing for the next day’s assignments, using the Academy library to research new teaching materials, or just enjoying the New England campus and town.  A detailed schedule will be emailed to participants in June.

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 2023 topic will be “Wild.”  


Lauren Rosen, conference manager