Harkness

Harkness Tables originated at Phillips Exeter Academy in 1931, when oil magnate and philanthropist Edward Harkness made a significant contribution to the school. He wanted to implement a new style of teaching where students and teachers would sit among each other rather than the more traditional lecturing method. Here he describes his idea:

“What I have in mind is (a classroom) where (students) could sit around a table with a teacher who would talk with them, and instruct them by a sort of tutorial or conference method, where (each student) would feel encouraged to speak up. This would be a real revolution in methods.”

From this, the Harkness Table was born. It is a large oval shaped table designed to allow conversation and thoughts to flow. Students are encouraged not only to speak up but to also challenge and develop ideas rather than to rival and compete one another.

We at TheHarknessTable embody this vision.

List of school that use the table.