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

This is an image of activist Phyllis Schafly with women behind her holding picket signs.

Understanding American Conservatism Through Various Academic Frameworks

Through course assignments, readings, guest speakers, and relevant examples from popular culture, he showed, “first, that conservatives… Read More
Open Streets, Philly Skyline

Political Empathy: Perspectives from Psychology and Urban Studies

For this episode of The PARK,we turn to the disciplines of psychology and urban studies to discuss ways to learn about ourselves and our communities as we think about the deep understanding required for political empathy. Dr. Lia Howard talks with Caroline Connolly, Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies of Penn's Department of Psychology and Marisa Denker, Executive Director of the stakeholder and community engagement firm, Connect the Dots. Explore empathy from the inside out and from the bottom up, as we grapple with individual cognition and grassroots community engagement.Read More
cartoon illustration of three political parties with a moose, elephant and donkey

Political Empathy: American Conservatism, Its Past, Present and Future

Political empathy asks that we apply empathetic skills to US politics, a realm that has not only been markedly polarized, it has reflected extreme disconnection between those who identify differently ideologically because they do not share information or space. In the first episode of the series, our host Dr. Lia Howard interviews historian Dr. Brian Rosenwald and Dr. Deirdre Martinez, executive director of the Penn in Washington program. Both teach SNF Paideia designated courses that probe American Conservatism, it's past, its present, and its future. They talk about the work they're doing in their classrooms and beyond to help students develop deep ways of thinking and acting that foster political empathy as a skill, which seems vital to the health of the US Democratic Republic.Read More

Upcoming Events

Aug 3

Penn Walks 2 Wellness Summer 2021

Penn Walks 2 Wellness is a university-wide wellness initiative led by Penn Libraries and the Center for Public Health Initiatives, with… Read More
Aug 26 - 28

SNF Paideia Retreat

SNF Paideia Fellows and campus partners “Walk Around Philadelphia” together. Ten small groups of Penn students, faculty, and staff… Read More

In the News

Headshot of Former Congressman Carlos Curbelo with United States Flag in the background
In the News

Former Republican Congressman Says GOP Must Distance Itself From Trump At Virtual Event

Former Congressman Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) said the GOP must break from former President Donald Trump in order to move forward at a virtual Penn event on Tuesday.Learn More
This is a headshot of Angela Duckworth in her office.
In the News

Remote Students of all Races, Incomes Suffered During Pandemic

Researchers found that the ‘thriving gap’ hit students universally who learned remotely during the pandemic.Learn More
This is a photo of Amy Gutmann, waving to the crowd in graduation regalia. Vice Provost Wendell Pritchett is standing behind her.
In the News

Students Call Gutmann’s Nomination a ‘Great Opportunity,’ But Are Wary of Leadership Change

Students largely embrace Penn President Amy Gutmann’s nomination to be the next United States ambassador to Germany as a welcome opportunity for both Penn and the United States. However, several expressed uncertainty about the University’s transition to new leadership.Learn More

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