Harkness In The Science Classroom

How do we do it?


Through personal reflection and then discussion, students design procedures to solve practical problems and gain knowledge. They analyze data together and look for patterns to create knowledge and develop theories. The new curriculum will focus on doing; there will be many opportunities for discussion.
directions how to discuss in the lab
discussing while learning something new in the lab
discussing in a lab setting in small group
discussing while analyzing lab data


Instead of telling students what is going to happen and why before a demonstration, have them discuss what they think will happen and why before the demonstration. Further discussion can happen after the demonstration.


Students work together to solve problems. Questions arise within the discussion, and students address the issues together. They come to a consensus on the answer and through this process help each other create deep understanding.
discussing while solving problems on the whiteboard


POGILS: (Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning) In these activities, students work in groups studying data and models. Through discussion, they look for patterns and create knowledge and understanding.

CASE STUDIES: In these activities, students work in a group analyzing scenarios and developing knowledge.

TIPERS: Students work in groups to develop a conceptual understanding of physics.

Article About Discussions in the Science Classroom