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 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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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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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 Latest from SNF Paideia

In the News

Systemic racism and its impact on health and wellness

The fifth of 13 conversations in Penn’s ‘Racism and Anti-Racism in Contemporary America’ preceptorial highlighted racial health disparities and discussed policies that could support a more equitable future.

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From the Blog


Integrating Tough Questions about the Intersection of Race, Religion, and Politics

For the SNF Paideia designated course, “Jews, Race, and Religion,” Dr. Steven Weitzman, Ella Darivoff Director of the Katz Center and a professor in Penn’s Religious Studies department, designed curriculum as well as a series of public lectures to address the following over-arching questions: “what is the history of the category of race; how has religious identity been racialized; how do Jews fit into the racialized culture of the U.S.; and what is the history of how immigrants to the U.S. came to embrace whiteness in their self-understanding?”Read More
This is a picture of a Philadelphia neighborhood, taken from inside a park. There is a tree in the center with two red benches in front of it.

Learning To Listen Beyond Sound

I recently attended the SNF Paideia Program event with Ernesto Pujol and Dr. Carol Miller, “Other Ways of Knowing: The Listening Project”. It was a powerful conversation to be a part of, touching on everything from the importance of listening to ourselves to reframing listening as an active choice.Read More
computer monitor with image of brain scan

Listening Through Science

Continuing our series on listening and the importance of listening for constructive dialogue, episode two of The PARK podcast focuses on what neuroscience and mystical practices teach us about listening. Dr. Lia Howard talks with Dr. Andrew Newberg, Director of Research at the Marcus Institute of Integrative Health and physician at Jefferson University Hospital, and Dr. Justin McDaniel, Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Endowed Professor of the Humanities and Undergraduate Studies Chair in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania about their research. Read More

Upcoming Events

Jun 2

Career Industry and Networking Series - Sports

Join Penn Alumni and partners for a virtual Career Industry and Networking Series focused on Sports on Wednesday, June 2nd at 7:00 PM… Read More

In the News

Headshots of Penn professors John Jackson Jr., Matthew Miller, Amy Hawn Nelson, and Sarah Jackson
In the News

Penn Professors Discuss The Need To Dismantle Racial Bias In The Media At Virtual Event

Several Penn professors discussed how racism is engrained in media and journalism at a virtual panel on Monday. At the event, titled “Voice, Representation, and Collective Memory in Mass Media, Digital Media, and Technology,” panelists discussed the impact of choices members of the media make in telling people's stories. Panelists included Annenberg School for Communication Dean John Jackson Jr., Annenberg professor Sarah Jackson, Stuart Weitzman School of Design postdoctoral fellow Matthew Miller, and Director of Training and Technical Assistance for Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy Amy Hawn Nelson. The panel was part of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Paideia Program series titled “Racism and Anti-Racism in Contemporary America,” and was moderated by Annenberg professor Michael X. Delli Carpini. Learn More
Zoom screenshot of event panelists, Herman Beavers, Natalie Crawford, Guthrie Ramsey, Deborah Thomas, and Tukufu Zuberi
In the News

Penn Profs. Discuss Role Of Black Artistry, Scholarship In Movement For Racial Justice

Penn professors discussed the role of Black artistry and scholarship in the movement for racial justice at a virtual panel on Tuesday.Learn More
Press Release

Stavros Niarchos Foundation Paideia Program Announces Class of 2024 Paideia Fellows

Beginning sophomore year, SNF Paideia Fellowships provide the opportunity to more fully integrate dialogue, wellness, service, and… Learn More

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