In 1930, philanthropist Edward Harkness made a substantial donation to Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire and stated his vision for academics: a scenario in which small groups of students, “could sit around the table with a teacher who would talk with them and instruct them by a sort of tutorial or conference method, where the average or below average boy would feel encouraged to speak up, present his difficulties, and the teacher would know. . . what his difficulties were . . . This would be a real revolution in methods.”
The result of this donation was “Harkness Teaching,” in which a teacher and a group of students work together, exchange ideas and information, around a table. After extensive training at Phillips Exeter Academy in 2013 and years of putting the method to practice, Harkness Teaching is utilized at Ambassador to help students thrive in the classroom.