Stevenson's Grade 5-8 program utilizes the Harkness Teaching Philosophy as a way to create a student-centered learning environment that fosters a student's delight in learning and a passion for success. Unique to the Monterey Peninsula, this time tested teaching method enables Stevenson students to be active participants in their education as they develop the skills critical to success at the high school level.
Molly Bozzo, Head of Carmel Campus
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Harkness Teaching Philosophy: Historical Points
- The purpose of the Harkness Table was to create a greater sense of active involvement in the classroom and to make the class more student-centered.
- Today, the Harkness teaching philosophy is used by some of the finest independent schools in the country.
How It Works
- The Harkness philosophy is a form of collaborative learning that doesn’t involve lectures.
- Teachers and students come prepared to discuss, share, and discover relevant classroom content with one another.
- The oval design of a Harkness table allows everyone seated to see the eyes of everyone else at the table, meaning no student is left out of the discussion.
Through the Harkness philosophy, students develop the abilities to:
- Actively hear about and discuss course content with their teacher and peers.
- Critically consider information before arriving at conclusions.
- Learn information with clarity and depth, in ways that make sense for the individual’s learning process.
- Form an independent opinion through evidence-based discussions and interpretations.
Amy Spencer, History Teacher (Grades 7 & 8)
Brendan McCarthy, Mathematics Teacher (Grades 7 & 8)