Middle School

Harkness

The Harkness Method

At the center of the middle school experience at Second Baptist School is the Harkness method of teaching and learning. Students, situated around large oval tables, engage in rich discussions that create electric, collaborative moments that enhance deep learning. With an emphasis on student-centered learning, Harkness provides the unique platform for students to collectively derive a greater understanding of any topic through thoughtful questions, articulate responses, and appropriate debates. Students prepare nightly through readings and excerpts and bring an individual sense of comprehension to the table; however, it is at the table where learning expands, grows, and manifests. The unique aspect of this pedagogy is that the students are driving the discussions. The teachers at Second Baptist School are thoroughly trained in the approach and facilitation of this type of teaching. A simple metaphor for the teacher at the table is the “invisible hand” guiding the discussion, interjecting at just the right moment or sitting still allowing students to resonate on the dialogue. Harkness provides students the opportunity to own their education and develop skills that will propel them long beyond their years at Second Baptist School. The focus is not just college preparatory; it is life preparatory.