Exeter Humanities Institute

See you next summer!

Our 2022 conference has concluded. Registration for next summer's conference will open later this year. Individuals on the Exeter Humanities Institute waitlist will be given priority enrollment for the 2023 session.

Harkness discussion is a wonderful way to add stimulating pedagogy to one’s teaching while at the same time enriching the content of one’s curriculum. Thank you for a week that was revitalizing. It was inspiring!”

An Institute for Teachers

Started in 2000, the Exeter Humanities Institute offers teachers an opportunity to experience the student-centered, discussion-based pedagogy known as Harkness teaching. Living together on the Phillips Exeter Academy campus for five days, participants learn as students and reflect as teachers. By engaging with peers from the all over the U.S. and around the world, participants also have a chance to recharge after a year of teaching.  While the program primarily serves secondary school teachers of English and History, teachers of other age groups and disciplines -- particularly Religion, Humanities, and Languages -- are welcome.

The required morning classes meet through the week. For each class, participants study texts and engage in discussion as either a student, leader or observer. Following the discussion, participants explore issues and strategies of discussion based learning. In most afternoons, participants may choose from a variety of activities: attending workshops on pedagogy and presentations on curriculum, preparing the next day’s assignments, using the Academy library to research new teaching materials, or just enjoying the New England campus and town. 

Each year the Institute leaders curate texts on a common topic to provide content for class discussion.  Broadly defined to encourage interdisciplinary exchanges. Our 2022 topic will be Gathering.

Professional Development Credit

Participants will be provided a clock-hour letter to present to their school administrators for professional development credit. A total of 40 clock hours are earned: 20 hours of classroom work, approximately twelve hours of homework, two hours of a teaching practicum, and eight hours of optional workshops.

Sample Daily Schedules

See below samples of the daily schedules. You will receive your schedule in the week prior to the institute. Each participant will be placed in an "A" Class and "B" Class for the morning sessions. Upon arrival and throughout the week,  participants may sign up for afternoon workshops and presentations; if needed, we will add and create sections to accommodate participant interest. 

Plan to arrive on campus by 2:00 p.m. Sunday.


9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m Conference Registration / Check In
11:00 a.m. Campus Tours
1:00 p.m.

EHI Open House: meet the leaders and pick up reading materials

3:00 p.m.

Welcome Meeting: opening remarks and introductory class

5:15 p.m. Dinner, Welcome Reception
6:30 p.m Harkness Demonstration and introductory discussion


Monday - Thursday Event
7:00 – 8:30 a.m. Breakfast
8:30 - 10:00 a.m. "A" Class
10:00 - 10:30 a.m.


10:30 – 12:00 p.m. "B" Class
12:00 - 1:30 p.m. Lunch / Break
1:30 - 5:30 p.m. Afternoon workshops, presentations, preparation (build your own schedule)
6:30 - 7:30 p.m. Dinner
7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Varies by day (homework reviews, movies, featured speakers)
9:00 - Social Hour


Friday Event
7:00 - 8:30 a.m. Breakfast
9:00 a.m. Check out of dorm rooms (if staying on campus)
8:30 - 10:00 a.m. "A" Class
10:00 - 10:30 a.m. Break
10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Closing exercise, conference evaluations
12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Lunch
1:00 p.m. Institute ends. Buses depart for Logan Airport or Manchester Airport



Lauren Rosen

Mailing Address
Phillips Exeter Academy
20 Main Street
Exeter, NH 03833

More to Explore


Reflections on a Harkness class