The main goal of the Harkness Method is to encourage students to come up with ideas of their own and learn good reasoning and discussion skills. Depending on his or her style, the teacher may interact very little, interjecting only to guide the discussion. It promotes the idea of each student taking responsibility for his or her own education, with teachers acting largely as facilitators.

Harkness Method History:

On April 9, 1930, philanthropist Edward Harkness wrote to Exeter's Principal Lewis Perry regarding how a substantial donation he had made to the Academy might be used:

"What I have in mind is [a classroom] where [students] could sit around a table with a teacher who would talk with them and instruct them by a sort of tutorial or conference method, where [each student] would feel encouraged to speak up. This would be a real revolution in methods."

The result was "Harkness Teaching," in which a teacher and a group of students work together, exchanging ideas and information, around a table.

The Harkness Method has been found to be very effective with the high school art curriculum at IMG Academy. Smaller class sizes with a three to four year grade range help to create a creative learning environment fused with communication and collaboration.

In addition to utilizing the Harkness Method of education, project-based curriculum is provided as hands on examples to work from in class and technology provides many avenues for research based curriculum for the students to use to accompany their learning process.