What is Paideia?

Paideia (py-DEE-a) comes from the Greek “pais” or “paidos” meaning “the upbringing of a child.” The Paideia philosophy celebrates the fundamental notion that to be fully educated is a lifelong adventure that starts with an individual's formal schooling. It is based on the assumption that all human beings are active learners, capable of a fully humanistic life defined by intellectual growth.

The Paideia method of teaching makes use of three distinct instructional techniques:

  1. Didactic instruction to increase students’ factual recall of information through listening, reading, and observing
  2. Coaching for the implementation of student application and practice of learning concepts acquired in the didactic lessons and under the guidance of their teachers
  3. Socratic Seminar Dialogue to strengthen students’ conceptual understanding through discussion, critical and creative thinking

For more detailed information on the Paideia philosophy and the history of the Paideia program, please visit the National Paideia Center.