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

Sigal Ben-Porath
In the News

Sigal Ben-Porath named the faculty director of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) Paideia Program

Sigal Ben-Porath named the faculty director of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) Paideia Program

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From the Blog

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
Good Talk with Sara Ropp
Blog

Dialogue Resources from SNF Paideia for Addressing Current Events

It becomes especially important, however, in moments of discernible collective unrest in response to major campus, community, national, or… Read More
Fake news in the post-factual era
Blog

Fake News in the Post-Factual Era--It’s Not Just False Beliefs.

Fake News in the Post-Factual Era--It’s Not Just False Beliefs: The Many Faces of “Post-Factual” Democratic Politics. Open Seminar… Read More

Upcoming Events

Mar 20

The 2024 Election: The Inside Scoop From Two Former White House Staffers

Alyssa Farah Griffin and Sarah Matthews have a unique perspective on the 2024 election from their time working for Donald Trump in the… Read More
Mar 25

Two Dads Defending Democracy Tour: Bridging the Gap During Divisive Times

Joe Walsh, a former U.S. Representative from Illinois, and Fred Guttenberg, a businessman-turned-activist following his daughter’s murder… Read More
May 2

Capstone Dialogue & Symposium

Interested in learning more about the SNF Paideia Program? The Capstone Dialogue & Symposium event is a great opportunity to hear from… Read More

In the News

Title of article with illustration below showing the lower portion of a man's face in a deep monochrome pink color with a white zipper on his lips
The Chronicle of Higher Education

Dampening Free Expression: Private Colleges Hope New Speech Policies Will Keep the Peace

Following months of demonstrations and turmoil, American University adopted a new set of policies for the spring semester. As of January… Learn More
screenshot with text from article alongside a colorful contour drawing of three people sitting around a table
Nature

How to Depolarize Your Students

Polarization shows up on campus through clashes over the boundaries of speech on issues such as racial equality, immigration, climate… Learn More
Aged newspaper clippings
Penn Today

Orthodox America

The history of religion in America is often told as a story of Pilgrims and Puritans, but has in fact been more multifaceted than that,… Learn More

Suggest a course.

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

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