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

Jonathan Haidt informal headshot

Conversation with Jonathan Haidt

Haidt recently chatted with Chris Satullo of The Gamba Family Red & Blue Exchange about some of the ideas he’ll be discussing with the audience during the virtual event “The Power of the Open Mind: How Viewpoint Diversity Makes You Smarter and Stronger.”

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From the Blog

Leah Anderson and Michael X. Delli Carpini headshots

Leadership Named for Paideia Program at Penn

Michael X. Delli Carpini has been named the inaugural faculty director and Leah Seppanen Anderson the inaugural executive director of the University of Pennsylvania’s new Stavros Niarchos Foundation Paideia Program for Penn undergraduates.Read More
Students on the lawn in the spring

Paideia’s Spring Courses Offerings Highlight Wellness, Service, and Citizenship

The first four courses offered to Penn undergraduates as part of the new Stavros Niarchos Foundation Paideia Program will focus on passion, civility, effective communication, and a deep dive into American Chinatowns.Read More
Penn College Hall

Niarchos Foundation Gift to Launch Paideia Program

The University of Pennsylvania today announced a $6 million gift to launch the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Paideia Program (Paideia) for its undergraduate students.Read More

Upcoming Events

Sep 23

Can We Talk? Civil Dialogue for Troubled Times

Add your voice to a regional dialogue on the state of our nation. Meet students from around the region to talk about justice, pandemic, the election, and your future.Read More
Sep 23

The System Meets the Neighborhood: From Structural Inequality to Neighborhood Change

This Community Roundtable is the first of a series intended to open new dialogue and build upon existing efforts toward action that are… Read More
Sep 24 -
Sep 29

Campus Speech Battles - A Virtual Conference

Free speech has re-emerged in recent years as a significant political rallying cry, as political polarization and shifting cultural… Read More

In the News

Ben Franklin statue on Penn's campus
Press Release

Inaugural Cohort of Paideia Fellows

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) Paideia Program recently announced the acceptance of 20 students into the inaugural cohort of SNF Paideia Fellows.Learn More
Inaugural Fellows sitting at table
In the News

Paideia Program Announces 20 Inaugural Fellows Who Will Take Civic Seminars

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Paideia Program announced its first class of undergraduate fellows last week.Learn More
Students Talk at Event about Climate Change
In the News

Phila. Students Talk Climate Change and Poverty at Event Sponsored by Penn Paideia Course

Students from the Philadelphia region gather for moderated discussions on various political topics.Learn More

Have an idea about dialogue on campus?

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