30 Ben Lippen School Road, Suite 206, Asheville, NC 28806     |     E-news signup


Teacher addressing class in Paideia school

Paideia Classroom

The Paideia Classroom is the second stage in developing both a fully realized Paideia Classroom environment and a fully realized Paideia School. It builds on the improved instruction resulting from consistent seminar practice by integrating didactic instruction and intellectual coaching with the Paideia Seminar, so that each of the Three Columns of Instruction are in constant and complementary use.

Didactic Instruction

Of the Three Columns, the most traditional is didactic instruction, designed to help students master and remember essential information. Didactic Instruction often occurs through lecture, but this category also includes demonstrations, audio-visual presentations, reading from textbooks and other forms of direct instruction. It is the most efficient way to deliver organized knowledge, but we recommend using it only 10-15% of instructional time, with careful attention to helping student process and retain the information.

Intellectual Coaching

The Column of instruction that deserves the greatest amount of classroom time is skill development through intellectual coaching. Coaching involves students working while teachers circulate from individual to individual or group to group, guiding and questioning. It is designed to produce the skills of learning, especially in the use of language and mathematics, but also in research, observation, and teamwork. Because this Column develops the intellectual skills and habits of mind that should last a lifetime, we recommend devoting approximately 70% of classroom time to it.

The goal of fully implementing the Three Columns of Instruction is a universal improvement in teaching and learning, based on a wide variety of research-based best practices. Once these are in place, a visitor should be able to recognize a Paideia Classroom on any day of the week, whether a seminar is in process or not.

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