Skip to main content

South Shore
Christian AcademyFor Christ. For Others.

Harkness Table


“SSCA helped me develop my ability to engage with the course material in college and speak confidently when answering questions in class. The Harkness Table was key in helping me strengthen that muscle of speaking in class, something many of my classmates were not as comfortable with in college.” -SSCA Alumnus

The Harkness Table

One of the greatest challenges in educating our youth today is to have them look beyond facts, dates and statistics – to actively engage in critical thinking and be able to persuasively articulate what they know and believe.

At SSCA we have implemented the Harkness Method of teaching for all students in Grades 9-12. The Harkness Method was pioneered and first introduced by Phillips Exeter Academy in 1927. It is a collaborative learning approach where ideas are formulated, considered and debated by students with faculty guidance. We have found that the use of Harkness tables and a modified Socratic teaching method encourages greater interactive learning and intentionally engages students in their subject matter.

The Harkness Method has produced exciting results as students grow and find their own voice and develop tools to articulate their own positions as they encounter new and emerging fields of knowledge. The Harkness Method also prepares students for leadership in team environments. Students gain experience with taking a position on a topic and defending it within a setting of mutual respect.