Paideia comes from the ancient Greek word for “the upbringing of a child.” Today, Paideia schools continue the classical ideal of an education that fosters critical and creative thinking skills, to prepare students to lead full lives as citizens of a democracy.
Sherri Bernier-Lucien is a parent and experienced educator in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Listen to this short video to hear her perspective on Paideia schools.
Schools for active learning
Rather than just making students memorize information and recall it on tests, Paideia schools actively engage students by teaching them to think. The Paideia method is based on “Three Columns” of teaching:
- Didactic instruction provides facts and concepts that students need to know. But this mode of instruction comprises only 10-15% of classroom time.
- Intellectual coaching: Paideia teachers coach essential skills necessary for success in the workplace and in life—skills such as critical thinking, speaking, listening, reading, and writing. These vital 21st Century skills are the basis of the Common Core language arts curriculum.
- Socratic seminar: Paideia Seminars continue Socrates’ tradition of teaching through questions. In seminars, students experience the excitement of generating their own ideas. They learn to express themselves, listen and respond to others with respect, and develop more complex and sophisticated ideas.
What to expect in Paideia schools
Paideia schools have been recognized throughout the United States and abroad. Each Paideia school reflects its unique community, but you can expect to find these attributes in all Paideia schools:
- Engaged teaching and learning
- Thoughtful and collaborative school culture
- Leadership focused on student learning
- Community involvement
- Learning in all seasons
The Paideia approach can make learning exciting, “like a flash of lightning.”
Make your school a Paideia school!
Paideia offers high quality education for all, because all children can learn to think! The Paideia method has led to great results in both public and private schools. With its emphasis on intellectual skills, Paideia leads to success on Common Core State Standards, which have been adopted in most states. Paideia resources—including lesson plans, course outlines, and workshops for teachers—are integrated with Common Core standards.
Any teacher can adopt the Paideia approach and thousands of teachers across the United States and the world use Paideia to bring active learning to their classrooms. A great way to start is to take a training.
Ready to bring active learning to your whole school? Paideia offers on-site faculty training customized to your school’s goals.
You can also take the next step and become an official Paideia partner school. Paideia partner schools gain international recognition, increased engagement from students and parents, and an added draw for parents who are choosing a school.