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

Anna Balfanz, Ayana Shirai, Mya Gordon and Yasmin Abdul Razak along the banks of Cobbs Creek
In the News

Exploring along the edges of Philadelphia reveals the essence of the city

The SNF Paideia Program teamed up with Penn alumnus and artist JJ Tiziou for ‘Walk Around Philadelphia,’ a fall retreat for student fellows.

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From the Blog

headshot of David French
Event Recap

Conservative Writer David French Gives his Perspective on Political Division in the United States

The most politically engaged Americans are becoming “dangerously polarized,” even as the “exhausted majority” of Americans opt out of political discussion altogether, writer David French told a Penn audience recently in a Zoom event sponsored by the Red and Blue Exchange (RBX).Read More
Bettina L. Love

Abolitionist Teaching and Learning with Bettina L. Love

In We Want to Do More than Survive, Love argues for a pedagogy that actively works towards radically restructuring and reimagining the prevailing educational model in the U.S. This pedagogy, which Love calls “abolitionist teaching,” is devoted to intersectional racial justice in and beyond the classroom through civics education, community coalition building, and critical theory. She refers to recent high-profile events and activism related to racial injustice; academic research in education; abolitionist histories; critical theory; and her own experiences as a Black, queer, female student and educator to make this argument.Read More
monk holding an ink drawing of a circle

Thich Nhat Hanh: “Our Communication Is Our Continuation”

Overview of The Art of Communicating This week, I’m reading The Art of Communicating by Thích Nhất Hạnh. (For an introduction to… Read More

Upcoming Events

Dec 7

The Man Who Made Mark Twain Famous

In 2021, American society is at its most divided in decades. Trust in institutions and politicians is on the wane, while political… Read More

In the News

Ernesto Pujol is standing in the middle of a room, surrounded by 6 people looking at him as he is speaking. Everyone in the room has a mask on and Pujol has his hands raised at his waist.
In the News

Learning to Listen in Troubled Times

The SNF Paideia Program and partners featured Ernesto Pujol and Aaron Levy, an artist and an interdisciplinary scholar who have transformed both what it means to listen and what the act of listening can achieve as part of a lecture and workshops.Learn More
In the News

New Zeke Emanuel Course Will Bring Students To Washington To Learn About How Policy Is Made

The course, PSCI 398: How Washington Really Works, will include an equal number of students from Penn and George Mason University, and will… Learn More
This photo is a screenshot of a Zoom call with Loretta Ross on the left box and Chris Satullo in the right box. Ross is mid speaking in the photo.
In the News

Activist Loretta Ross Urges Productive Conversations Over Cancel Culture at Penn Event

The event, titled “Calling in the Calling Out Culture — A Dialogue with Loretta Ross,” explored Ross’s philosophy of standing… Learn More

Have an idea about dialogue on campus?

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