Harkness Table Cost

Harkness Table™ Cost

Last Updated on March 17, 2021 | Written by CPA Alec Pow
First Published on March 17, 2021 | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popivker

The Harkness Table™ also referred to as the Collaborative Learning Table, Harkness discussion or Harkness method, is a learning and teaching technique that involves students being seated at a big, oval-shaped table. Here, they have the ability to talk about ideas within a motivating and open-minded setting with some or very little intervention from the teaching individual.

The HarknessTable™, unlike a standard square table we all know and are so used to seeing, will enable basically everyone seated to see the eyes of everybody else seated around the table. Simply put, this will mean that nobody will be able to hide or miss any of the provided information. As a result, it also guarantees that no student is overlooked and that the conversation will gather the attention of everyone.

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With this table method, students are motivated to challenge the ideas, concepts and to work together rather than taking on one another. This technique is currently in usage at a bulk of American boarding schools as well as in most colleges.

Just how much does a Harkness Table cost?

Typically, the expenses of a Harkness Table™ will depend upon the size, the kind of wood you choose to make it from, and where you purchase it from. From what we were able to find online, a Harkness Table™ that has plenty of happy customers can cost anywhere from $250 to $750 per table.

Harkness Table details

Harkness Table™ BenefitsTypical table sizes vary anywhere from 11 to 17 feet. Some might have a slide-out desk, while others are fixed. A lot of desks, from what we were able to find, can seat anywhere from 12 to 18 students and will be made from either cherry, maple, or oak.

With its oval shape, integrated with a low student-to-teacher ratio, a Harkness Table™ will offer an interactive-style learning and teaching experience which focuses on including all students in dynamic conversations. This is a tested technique of discussion and teaching given that it promotes extensive teaching in addition to aiding students to improve their capability to team up, listen, and articulate their views while respecting the ideas of those around them. This design is similar and usually associated with the Socratic method. The main objective is to convince students to come up with their own concepts, discover great reasoning and improve their conversation abilities.

What are the additional expenses?

Aside from the table, chairs will generally be a different expense to be prepared for.

Freight or shipping charges might also apply to those that buy the table online due to the much heavier weight and larger size.

Tips to keep in mind

Established at the Phillips Exeter Academy, the name of this technique stems from Edward Harkness, the oil mogul, benefactor, and a graduate of St. Paul’s School in New Hampshire. Edward Harkness also paid for the conference tables for the Lawrenceville School in 1936. This collective discussion strategy traces back 2,400 years ago to Socrates.

Collaborative teaching instructors sit at the table and are active participants in the class conversations. In some cases, parents question whether this means the instructor is not teaching, when in fact, the teacher is showing students how to learn by themselves, rather than just what to learn. The teachers will help by asking questions that stimulate the discussions. The more the students want to know, the more they will find out.

How can you save some money?

Think about getting the table built locally. This way you will cut down on shipping prices, and you might even be able to negotiate a discount.

Alec Pow
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