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

Overlapping face silhouettes in red and blue
Event Recap

Listening Well During the 2020 Election: Encountering Ideological Difference with Empathy and Intellectual Humility

The timing of the 2020 U.S. election falls as the nation is experiencing deep fragmentation around issues of culture, economics, race, and responses to the COVID 19 pandemic. In this current moment it can feel especially hard to engage in dialogue across difference. The SNF Paideia Program has partnered with Penn’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and Fox Leadership to give us some tools to listen to those with whom we may disagree while remaining open in ways that best balance wellness. In this video recorded workshop, we examine this political moment, listening, empathy, intellectual humility as well as how people change. We learn wellness techniques that can enhance any conversation but can most especially be applied to this moment.

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From the Blog

Civic Chats Screen Shot
Event Recap

Event Recap: Civic Chats Fall 2020

The SNF Paideia Program hosted three Civic Chats in the Fall 2020 semester. Civic Chats were developed to continue the conversation around the themes of the Year of Civic Engagement (YoCE) by introducing students to partner organizations and discussing opportunities for civic engagement on campus.Read More
woman staring in field looking at sunset with arms outstretched

The Warmth of Gratitude

“Gratitude is a divine emotion: it fills the heart, but not to bursting; it warms it, but not to fever.” ~Charlotte Bronte After a year of intense emotions, Bronte’s description of gratitude is a welcome one. Between COVID-19 and the 2020 presidential election, I have experienced my heart “bursting” with emotions along the lines of Bronte’s “fever.” It is interesting to think of gratitude as a gentler emotion. As one that “fills” and “warms” the heart but without the possessiveness of some other emotions.Read More

Bridging Telecomm with Unconnected Communities

Nikita (Nikki) Zinzuwadia, C'22, spoke with Peter Bloom, C'05 CGS'05, about his public interest technology journey. Since 2009, Peter has been coordinating Rhizomatica, an organization he founded to promote new communication technologies in indigenous, underdeveloped, and unconnected communities. Through Rhizomatica, Peter helped start the first community-owned and managed cell phone network in the Americas in 2013.Read More

Upcoming Events

Dec 8

The Public Health System: Health and Wellness Disparities

Panel Conversation for Racism and Anti-Racism in Contemporary America "The Public Health System: Health and Wellness… Read More
Dec 9

ALL IN: The Fight for Democracy, Online Presentation

Cinema & Media Studies, in collaboration with the SNF Paideia Program, Fox Leadership Program, Annenberg School, Office of the Vice… Read More
Dec 10

Internet Speech and Democratic Politics

Jaime Settle explores how the forms of expression on social media can undermine the mutual tolerance required by a functioning… Read More

In the News

Student studying outside while wearing a mask
In the News

Students urge off-campus residents to follow Philadelphia’s new COVID-19 restrictions

Many students praise this week's new city guidelines to limit the spread of COVID-19 and call on their peers to take these regulations seriously as cases continue to climb at Penn and in Philadelphia.Learn More
Photo of Black Lives Matter Protests
In the News

New Penn lecture series examines systemic racism in public health, criminal justice, education

Penn is offering a new preceptorial series titled "Racism and Anti-Racism in Contemporary America" this year to examine the causes and consequences of racism in America and to explore solutions.Learn More

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