Harkness Learning

When one enters a classroom in the Senior School, whether it is a Biology, Mathematics, English, Socials, or French, they will see students and a teacher seated at a large oval table engaged in a conversation. The nature of the discussion will, no doubt, be different, but one unifying observation will remain the same: discussion-based, student-centred, collaborative learning process is taking place there!
 
Southridge School has been committed to Harkness learning since 2012. The partnerships created at the table lead students to find their own meaning through analysis and discussion with their peers. The purposeful integration of technology, incorporated with this student-centered approach, enables our students to:
 
  • ask excellent questions that challenge them and others to think critically,
  • listen and understand different perspectives,
  • work collaboratively with others to solve problems,
  • think critically and apply concepts to new learning,
  • communicate their thoughts and ideas succinctly,
  • be an engaged learner,
  • experience learning through doing,
  • and increase awareness of their own learning.

We continue to refine and grow in this area with many of our teachers contributing to research and professional development in Harkness Learning and Teaching, Harkness Coaching and Outreach to other schools with frequent visits from their faculty to observe Harkness in action. Our students continue to work alongside of faculty as well, as their passion and care about Harkness is evident every day in every class. Our students’ voices speak to the success of this philosophy:

“When we first started to use the Harkness Method, I was skeptical, but as we got into it, I really liked it” - Shaelyn, Grade 10 Student.

“We realize that we can learn so much more from each other” – Mayaz, Grade 12 Student.

“Sometimes you were wrong, but then you were given constructive criticism about what you could have done or approach you took… Harkness really helped me improve in my learning because I became more independent in my approach” – Amanat, Grade 12 Student.

“It is just more fun to learn this way” – Matthew, Grade 10 Student.