Exeter Humanities Institute West

See you in 2022!

EHI West takes place at The Bishop's School in La Jolla, California.

Thank you for you interest in Exeter Humanities Institute West. Conference dates and registration information are coming soon.

The Harkness method is a wonderful way of injecting stimulating pedagogy into 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!"

A Conference for Teachers

The Exeter Humanities Institute West is a conference primarily for secondary school English and History teachers. It is designed to explore the use of student-centered, discussion-based education that is loosely described as the Harkness pedagogy. This program in La Jolla, California, features the same materials, instruction, and Phillips Exeter Academy faculty as the program in NH. 

Morning sessions will utilize essays on a common humanities topic to explore issues in leading discussions. Afternoons are spent in focus groups and other optional sessions.

The selection of a core topic is intended to provide common content in the humanities as well as a focus for class discussions. The topics are broadly defined to encourage interdisciplinary exchanges. The topic for 2020 is Work and Leisure. 

Professional Development Credit

Attendance goes toward reaching your professional development goals. 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 six hours of optional seminars.

Sample Daily Schedule

This is a sample schedule of how your day is organized. You will receive the actual schedule one week prior to the conference. You will be placed in both an "A" Class and "B" Class each morning. Afternoon classes are optional.

Plan to arrive at The Bishop's School by 3:00 p.m. Monday.


3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Conference Registration / Check In
4:00 p.m.

Opening Remarks

5:00 p.m. Dinner, Welcome Reception
6:00 p.m - 8:00 p.m. Harkness Demonstration & Introductory Class Meetings


Tuesday-Thursday Event
9:00 - 10:30 a.m. "A" Class
10:30 - 11:00 a.m.


11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. "B" Class
12:30 - 1:30 p.m. Lunch 
1:45 - 4:00 p.m. Optional Afternoon Sessions
7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Optional Evening Social Time (off-campus)
Friday Event
9:00 - 10:30 a.m. "A" Class
10:30 - 10:45 a.m. Break
10:45 - 11:45 a.m. "B" Class
12:00 - 12:30 p.m. Closing remarks
12:30 p.m. Grab and Go Lunch & Departure


Leigh Drapeau

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

More to Explore


Reflections on a Harkness class