Harwood Sponsors First Socrates Cafe in Three Years

What does it mean to forgive? As we see conflict escalate in our world every day, students at Harwood wonder if forgiveness and reaching out to those with opposing views is truly in our nature. Come discuss these philosophical questions in the Harwood Union Library on December 6th at 6 PM when Harwood student leaders sponsor our first Socrates Cafe in three years. 

A Socrates Cafe is civil dialogue at its best: a gathering of people from all different walks of life to discuss a prescient question that proves both timeless and timely through many perspectives. This method of dialogue uses probing questions as a way to encourage people to think deeply about themselves, as well as a sharing of ideas to deepen participants’ understanding of the question. When asked about his opinion on these dialogues, Jonah Ibson said, “They’re really fun, super engaging, I love to listen to what people of all generations in our community have to say about timeless and timely questions.” The goal of these dialogues is to pose questions and topics that everyone can understand so that no special education or understanding of the topic is required. This offers the opportunity for people to explore their values no matter who they are and where they come from.

Harkness Leaders facilitate a dialogue with teachers at the November in-service.

Harkness Leadership is an elective class taught at Harwood by Kate Stauss. Harkness Pedagogy, which originated at Philips Exeter college, is a form of dialogue that allows students to learn about topics through discussion. At Harwood, students use this method to look at literary texts and discover what it means to them and to our communities. Students have also been learning how to take a leadership role in facilitating these conversations and are excited to be doing so at the Socrates Cafe. 

Since 2010, Harwood Union has been hosting these dynamic dialogues, but they were interrupted by the pandemic in 2020. We are excited to be able to welcome the community back into the school to consider the questions of what does it mean to forgive? These dialogues will be facilitated by students from the Harkness leadership class. Questions may be directed to Kate Stauss at [email protected].