Educating the whole person

How Do I Pronounce Paideia?

Integrating Wellness, Service, and Citizenship Through Dialogue

παιδεία (Paideia) is an ancient Greek word meant to capture the moral, intellectual, and physical education of an ideal member of the Athenian city-state—that is, “educating the whole person.” It is also translated as “educating citizens,” since they saw private and public lives as inseparable. This vision of education and citizenship was limited to a minority of the population, however. Through the intellectual and financial support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), the SNF Paideia Program reimagines a more inclusive and equitable version of this ancient Greek approach to education, serving as a hub for civic dialogue in undergraduate education at Penn. In collaboration with other Penn programs and organizations, SNF Paideia provides curricular and co-curricular opportunities for all students to develop the knowledge, skills, and ethical frameworks necessary to be informed, engaged, and effective community members, and to lead fulfilling and integrated personal, professional, and civic lives.

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Courses

Courses for the holistic student.

SNF Paideia designated courses, designed and taught by faculty from all of Penn’s twelve Schools, integrate students’ personal, professional, and civic development. Open to all Penn undergraduates, these courses focus on dialogue, wellness, service, and citizenship from different disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives.

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Fellowships

SNF Paideia Fellows.

While individual Paideia courses are designed to be taken by any of Penn’s 10,000 undergraduates, the program also provides a more structured and immersive experience for a select number of SNF Paideia Fellows.

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Initiatives

Connecting theory and practice.

In addition to courses, fellowships, and events, SNF Paideia serves as the home for several co-sponsored initiatives that connect classroom learning with real-world dialogue and public problem-solving.

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The Alliance for Understanding Cohort in Selma

The Latest from SNF Paideia

Speaker seated to the left with moderator seated on the right
Penn Today

The Conflict Over the Conflict

Kenneth S. Stern, director of the Bard Center for the Study of Hate, spoke at Penn about addressing campus divides over the Israel/Palestine conflict.

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From the Blog

three women facing camera smiling
Blog

Connecting with Philadelphia’s Green Spaces While Fostering Community

Throughout my time at Penn, I have taken several Paideia courses, one being Nature Rx with Dr. Elizabeth Mackenzie this past fall. The… Read More
square image of that includes four inset travel related photos from Mexico varying in size
Blog

Most People Don’t Know Who You Are, and That’s Okay: Sense of Self and Humility at Penn

In my life, I’ve been self-centered—as is typical. As humans, we focus on our own needs and lives more than any other individual’s.… Read More
Award presented to honoree by speaker holding microphone. Recipient accepting olive tree sculpture.
Story

SNF Paideia Program Celebration Honors Inaugural Faculty Director

The Penn SNF Paideia team, members of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, with honoree SNF Paideia Inaugural Faculty Director Michael Delli… Read More

Upcoming Events

Apr 18

The Labors of Resurrection: Necromancy and the Democratic Storytelling of W.E.B. Du Bois and Toni Morrison

  Shatema Threadcraft is an Associate Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies, Philosophy and Political Science at Vanderbilt… Read More
May 2

Capstone Event

Interested in learning more about the SNF Paideia Program? Join us for the Capstone poster session of our SNF Paideia graduating seniors.… Read More

In the News

Speaker standing at podium in front of an audience
Penn Today

The Conflict Over the Conflict

Kenneth S. Stern published “The Conflict Over the Conflict: The Israel/Palestine Campus Debate” four years ago, but his book has… Learn More
Penn Today

Future of the GOP

Two former staffers in Donald Trump’s White House outlined their views on how the GOP can move away from MAGA, bring back bipartisanship,… Learn More
Archival illustration in full color of college campus in bloom with historic old building covered in ivy
Penn Today

Discussing open expression on college campuses

During a Tuesday lunchtime event, Penn professor and education and political philosopher Sigal Ben-Porath discussed the accelerating… Learn More

Suggest a course.

We are eager to hear from faculty about classes they would like offered under the SNF Paideia Program.

Propose a Course