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South Shore
Christian AcademyFor Christ. For Others.

Harkness Method

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. 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.