Jim Heal (English Teacher and Behaviour & Discipline SLE) describing the use of Harkness to develop Independent Learning

zHumanities & Social Sciences CPD course with The Lawrenceville School, USA

Date & Time: Monday 4 July 2016
09:00 - 17:00

Tuesday 5 July 2016
09:00 - 17:00

Wednesday 6 July 2016
09:00 - 17:00
Event Type: 3 Full Days
Venue: Wellington College
Event Cost: 5 discounted spaces available for WCTSP schools on first come first served basis: £112.50
WCTSP Schools: £300
Non-WCTSP Schools: £450

Accommodation is not currently available on site. Should you require accommodation, please contact WCTSP@wellingtoncollege.org.uk and we shall assist you further.
Wellington College has negotiated a discounted rate for the course at a local hotel, and there are good options nearby for high quality, budget accommodation.



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Event Focus Categories: Curriculum
Teaching and Learning
Event Subject or Topic Area: Humanities and social sciences
Target Audience: Teachers of humanities and social science subjects at secondary and FE colleges, and HE teachers
Event Description:

This is a unique opportunity to experience Harkness learning – the distinctive pedagogy favoured by leading schools in the US – led by an eminent and experienced practitioner from one of the world's top schools: Pier Kooistra (The Lawrenceville School).

The course is experiential and interactive, with participants taking the role of students to see Harkness from the inside. The course operates through Harkness classes, so that teachers can see the classroom approach both in an applied setting and considered as a topic for discussion.

Participants will receive in-depth insight into Harkness teaching: its history and development, its application, the challenges it presents, and the benefits it may bring to the learning culture of a school.

Fundamentally, Harkness is a classroom philosophy for independent learning, as students are required to construct the arguments in class through collaboration and discussion. It can bring about transformation in student attitudes in terms of taking responsibility and initiative for learning both in and outside of the classroom.

Event Outcomes:

  • Delegates will take away in-depth insight into Harkness teaching: knowledge, experience, resources
  • Delegates will be provided with strategies for applying a Harkness approach in the specific context of UK education and qualifications
  • Delegates will have participated in an open forum, discussing application of Harkness in their schools
  • Delegates will be exposed to a range of independent learning strategies, including (but not limited to) the Harkness pedagogy
  • Delegates will have experienced a short, intensive   inter-disciplinary Harkness course in a student role

Course Leader 1: Pier Kooistra (Teaching Chair in Harkness, Lawrenceville School (USA))
Pier is an experienced teacher of English and has taught at Lawrenceville School since 2004. In that time, he has developed a distinctive implementation of Harkness teaching at this world-leading institution and for the first time is offering a course for teachers based in the UK.

Pier, after undergraduate and graduate studies at Dartmouth College and Stanford University, has taught for twenty-five years, the last twelve at The Lawrenceville School.
There he serves as Robert S. and Christina Seix Dow Distinguished Master-Teaching Chair in Harkness Learning.
In that role, Pier works each term with a different academic department or course-teaching team on adapting Harkness pedagogy to the requirements of a particular subject or a specific course curriculum.
He has helped Lawrenceville to develop feedback instruments that highlight skills and sensibilities essential to effective preparation for class and productive participation.
Pier's commitment to an education built primarily on a melding of individual initiative and collective critical thinking took root at St. Andrew's School, where he was lucky enough to sit at his first Harkness table--and there to venture preliminary thoughts, to listen to alternatives, to reflect, and then to adapt his thinking in response to a far fuller, finer collection of information, questions and ideas.
Course Leader 2: Guy Williams (Head of Upper School, Wellington College)
Guy is an experienced teacher of Philosophy and Religion and has taught at Wellington College since 2008. During that time, he has served as Head of Department and as Head of Upper School. He has worked extensively on philosophical and dialogical approaches to teaching, including Harkness.
No of Participants: 26

The Wellington College Teaching School Partners