LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

The Paideia Seminar: Active thinking through dialogue

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The Paideia Seminar: Active thinking through dialogue

Provided by The National Paideia Center.

PAIDEIA (py-dee-a) from Greek, pais, paidos: The upbringing of a child. (Related to pedagogy and pediatrics.) In an extended sense, the equivalent of Latin humanitas (from which “the humanities”), signifying the general learning that should be the possession of all human beings.


Paideia is a philosophy of education that emphasizes quality, rigor, and lifelong learning. In a Paideia Seminar, students and teacher participate in a collaborative, intellectual dialogue facilitated with open-ended questions about a text.

This teacher training manual, provided by The National Paideia Center, provides a valuable set of resources for educators who want to begin using the Paideia approach. The manual includes an explanation of what Paideia is, how it works, and why it’s relevant; a thorough discussion of the Paideia Seminar; a step-by-step guide to planning a Seminar; lists of responsibilities for facilitators and participants; planning tools, including questions and rubrics; assessment tools; and sample texts and plans.

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