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What is Harkness 2.0 Teaching?

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Kari Ostrem

on 25 May 2011

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Transcript of What is Harkness 2.0 Teaching?

"I recommend the 'separate home' plan of boarding. These homes should be built at convenient distances from a main school building; should be large enough to hold a teacher & his family & not more than 25 boys; & should be under the immediate care of the teacher & his wife to organize and maintain a marked home life & supervision."
Dr. Cameron Mackenzie, Plan for the Lawrenceville School, 1883 2.0 What is Harkness 1.0? “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.”
--Edward Harkness ¿What is Harkness 2.0? Thinking in Web 2.0 terms. . .
Constructing knowledge . . . in 2011

Harknesss classrooms develop a group consensus of 12 people that is shared inside the walls of the room.

How do we encourage students to
write for a public audience?
pay attention only to the material relevant to them?
have a tangential discussion with one other student?
bring in outside resources?
not always produce paper?

May 6, 2011 - Math Reflection

A Google doc

Fifteen students commented on these questions to come up with the following.

What should Harkness 2.0 look like?

I don’t th think that harkness 2.0 should be the same, but maybe have more outlets for computers and maybe a slot, or something that can hold computers. -Aliyah
The Harkness table looks fine as it is.-chioma
I agree with Chi- there’s not reason to change the Harkness table. Maybe if it can be cheaper:)-Chaeyoon
I don’t thiink we should try to get too fancy... (agree)
I agree with Aliyah, and I think that sometimes there aren’t enough tablets for people to use.-Fah


Some teachers don’t really use the Harkness table... It isn’t necessary for math or arts, but it’s really effective for all the other classes. -chaeyoon
Well in subjects like math and science it clearly wouldn’t work, but for english and especially history you pay more attention to the person talking.-chioma
I think often times in math class they prove to be ineffective such as in math class, but in many cases Harkness style
I agree that math is not typically used for harkness discussions yet I think with certain large ideas in mathematics it is a useful resource, because in many cases there are many ways to approach a problem and arrive at the correct answer.
It should be equipped for new technology
In history and english, it is all discussion based, because there really isn’t a right or wrong answer. But in Language, you also have harkness tables, which is to promote conversation.
all subjects can benefit from the harkness way of teaching, but not all teachers chose to fully utilize this tool
It’s a very good for English( like with Doc Shilts)_ Ms. Smit always gives Academic Memos for HArkness performance:)!) yeah she gives too many because then it becomes about participation and people just start saying stupid stuff.Additionally, because many teachers don’t grade on participation it sometimes creates an odd or ineffective class dynamic.
I think the Harkness method works better for certain subjects like the classics (English and History). I think the material that we are learning works best when around a harkness table. But now that I am thinking about it more, we could do it for math. i just think people are so used to the stereotypical way of thinking that we don’t really ‘discuss math’ that might make it an weird transition.
I think that every class can use the Harkness table but some teachers just don’t use it. In english and history it’s always used because discussions are encouraged, but it’s not used as much in other classes.

Would math be different if we had Harkness tables?
Yes I don’t know if it would be effective or not, it would be more discussion based, which I think at times could take class off topic.
I don’t think it would work well, because math is the kind of subject where you need to watch examples on the board and what the teacher is doing. you don’t “discuss” math often.
Having a harkness table in math could possibly work, but it could take a while to get used to
Yes... but I think math is more effective with the tables we have now.. We do a lot of group work and stuff but we won’t be able to with harkness tables -chaeyoon
Yes. I don’t like the idea of having a math class everyone just talking about math. I like it to just be lectured for most of it.
Yes, but I think in a bad way.
Yes, I think it might help sometimes but the way we have our desks set up is already Harkness-like so there really is no need to get a Harkness table for math.

What conic section most closely approximates a Harkness Table?
An eclipse resembles the Harkness table table but technically the harkness table in flat on the sides. Do you mean an ellipse?
I don’t know what a conic section is...
I don’t know either..... -chaeyoon
An eclipse is used to show all the points where the distance between two other points is added up.

Why are we on desktops right now and not laptops?
Because some people do not bring their laptops to class...it may be a hassle
Because they are harder to steal (not true) (have you ever stolen a desktop?) If we had laptops everywhere you wouldn’t (why does it say that’s spelled wrong?) have a computer when you needed one because lawrenceville can’t afford to buy laptops (another donor day?!!!)
because people (like me) forgot to bring laptops to class
I have my laptop right next to me............-chaeyoon
Good question.

How would you steal a desktop? exactly. it could happen.
you would’t unless you’re not very bright
nooo, you’d have to be extra bright!
In all black clothes. Don’t do what Hansel did in Zoolander
He wasn’t stealing! He was investigating.
LIes, he would have to steal it to investigate it.
I would come here early in the morning because I am always here and no one else is. But who would do that :(

Should we be an ipad school?
I think that IPADS would be good for text book use!!! that would be great and we would be saving so much money on textbooks.-Aliyah good point
NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! I HATE IPADS (im sorry) i mean... unless we get them for free:/ that’s a different story then...-chaeyooooooooooon
I don’t think so. Laptops are fine.
If I had an ipad I would say yes
I think they may help a lot...maybe not... i don’t know
You should have the choice.
Who would get said ipads?
Like my only question is...who’s paying?
i don’t think I can afford that...
no, many people would’nt be able to afford them, and I personally don’t like them. they are like oversized ipods.
Yes. I think they’re better to carry around.
NOOooooooooo!ooOOOO! next we will start having Fiber Glass Tables...no thanks too much technology.-jb
ohhh that sounds fancy ^^

It would be a very difficult transition and it would be very pricey, I like handwritten notes -I second-

What are you talking about... (:
If it aint broke don’t fix it!
Well it might reduce paper usage which is good for the little birdies that live in the trees www.todaysmeet.com/www.wordle.net Digital collaboration Students:
- practice
- share ideas
- get feedback
- work together “Give scholars, at least during the period of life in which character is most easily molded, refined domestic life, these being unquestionably the ripest and best fruits of civilization.” FLO, Plan for the College of California "Civilized discourse must be at the core of all good education and all full lives."
--Edward Harkness Chris Cunningham Kari Ostrem Eli Montes Sheamus Burns Matt Campbell WP & Buddypress mediawiki wallwisher.com video blogging backchannel
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