The Three Columns of Instruction

The three modes of teaching and learning in Paideia classroom are:

Socratic Seminar—15-20% of time
Intellectual Coaching—70% of time
Didactic Instruction—10-15% of time

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Socratic Seminar

In Paideia schools, Socratic seminar is a collaborative, intellectual dialogue facilitated by open-ended questions about a text. The goal of a Paideia Seminar is to deepen understanding of ideas, concepts, and values. Socratic seminars are about critical thinking and civil discourse. Seminars occur approximately 15-20% of instructional time.

Socratic Seminars lead to increased understanding of ideas and values. 

Intellectual Coaching

Intellectual Coaching is modeling and questioning to help students develop academic skills.  Coaching can happen one-on-one, in small groups, or as a whole class. The goal of Intellectual Coaching is for students to master skills, such as reading, writing, speaking, listening and thinking. Intellectual Coaching ideally occurs 70% of instructional time.

Intellectual coaching leads to development of intellectual skills. 

Didactic Instruction

Didactic Instruction is the delivery of must-know factual information. Lecture, demonstration, videos, and reading are common forms of Didactic Instruction. The goal of Didactic Instruction is for students to acquire basic vocabulary, names, dates, places, and other facts. Effective Didactic Instruction includes students engaging with information using graphic organizers and mind maps. In a Paideia classroom, teachers work to limit their Didactic Instruction to 10-15% of instructional time.

Didactic instruction leads to the acquisition of organized knowledge.