What is the history of Paidea?



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MORTIMER ADLER

  • Dr. Rafael Cartagena

What is the history of Paidea?

  • Paideia is a Greek word meaning the upbringing of a child. There are many different pronunciations, but the one we use is pie-day-ah. Paideia has long been used as a term for education projects. One particular use developed into a major program centered around basis principles and regular use of Socratic seminars for all students.

Between 1979 and 1985 a group of educators met with Mortimer Adler, then Chairman of the Board of Editors for Encyclopedia Britannica, to discuss education reform.  They referred to themselves as the Paideia Group. Some of their concerns were the high use of lecture by teachers (85% of teacher time) as reported by John Goodland in A Place Called School, excessive stress on coverage of material, lack of equal opportunity to education in the schools, and poor conditions for learning within the school environment created by such elements as large class size numbers.

  • Between 1979 and 1985 a group of educators met with Mortimer Adler, then Chairman of the Board of Editors for Encyclopedia Britannica, to discuss education reform.  They referred to themselves as the Paideia Group. Some of their concerns were the high use of lecture by teachers (85% of teacher time) as reported by John Goodland in A Place Called School, excessive stress on coverage of material, lack of equal opportunity to education in the schools, and poor conditions for learning within the school environment created by such elements as large class size numbers.

The Paideia Group published three books: Paideia Proposal (1982), Paideia Problems and Possibilities (1983), and the Paideia Program (1984). These books sparked public interest across the country. By 1994 the Paideia Proposal was translated into 6 different languages.  In response to many requests for training, Dr. Adler formed the Paideia Associates in 1985.

  • The Paideia Group published three books: Paideia Proposal (1982), Paideia Problems and Possibilities (1983), and the Paideia Program (1984). These books sparked public interest across the country. By 1994 the Paideia Proposal was translated into 6 different languages.  In response to many requests for training, Dr. Adler formed the Paideia Associates in 1985.

The Paideia Associates designed and conducted the early training and implementation programs.  The Paideia Associates formulated the Paideia Principles (below) summarizing major points in the Paideia concept of education. PGI is a national not-for-profit organization with national and international members. Mortimer Adler is the Honorary Chairman. Its purpose is to monitor and guide Paideia development, foster networking and sharing of information. In 1992, PGI instituted the stages of development and the essential elements for a Paideia school. In 1993, the board issued the certification process for trainers.  PGI conducts regional workshops, an annual national conference and on site Paideia training programs.

  • The Paideia Associates designed and conducted the early training and implementation programs.  The Paideia Associates formulated the Paideia Principles (below) summarizing major points in the Paideia concept of education. PGI is a national not-for-profit organization with national and international members. Mortimer Adler is the Honorary Chairman. Its purpose is to monitor and guide Paideia development, foster networking and sharing of information. In 1992, PGI instituted the stages of development and the essential elements for a Paideia school. In 1993, the board issued the certification process for trainers.  PGI conducts regional workshops, an annual national conference and on site Paideia training programs.

Paidea Principles

  • That all children can learn;
  • That, therefore, they all deserve the same quality of schooling, not just the same quantity;
  • That the quality of schooling to which they are entitled is what the wisest parents would wish for their own children, the best education for the best being the best education for all;

That schooling at its best is preparation for becoming generally educated in the course of a whole lifetime, and that   schools should be judged on how well they provide such preparation;

  • That schooling at its best is preparation for becoming generally educated in the course of a whole lifetime, and that   schools should be judged on how well they provide such preparation;
  • That the three callings for which schooling should prepare all Americans are (a) to earn a decent livelihood, (b) to be a good  citizen of the nation and the world, and (c) to make a good life for oneself;
  • That the primary cause of genuine learning is the activity of  the learner's own mind, sometimes with the help of a teacher functioning as a secondary and cooperative cause;

That the three kinds of teaching that should occur in our schools are didactic teaching of subject matter, coaching that  produces the skills of learning, and Socratic questioning in seminar discussion;

  • That the three kinds of teaching that should occur in our schools are didactic teaching of subject matter, coaching that  produces the skills of learning, and Socratic questioning in seminar discussion;
  • That the results of these three kinds of teaching should be (a)  the acquisition of organized knowledge, (b) the formation of  habits of skill in the use of language and mathematics, and (c) the growth of the mind's understanding of basic ideas and issues;

That each student's achievement of these results should be evaluated in terms of that student's capacities and not solely  related to the achievements of other students;

  • That each student's achievement of these results should be evaluated in terms of that student's capacities and not solely  related to the achievements of other students;
  • That the principal of a school should never be a mere administrator, but also a leading teacher who should cooperate with  the faculty in planning, reforming, and reorganizing the school as an educational community;

That the principal and faculty of a school should themselves be actively engaged in learning; and,

  • That the principal and faculty of a school should themselves be actively engaged in learning; and,
  • That the desire to continue their own learning should be the prime motivation of those who dedicate their lives to the profession of teaching.

The Paidea Curricular Framework

  • The Paidea Curricular Framework
  • Column 1 Column 2 Column 3
  • Goals An Acquisition Development of Enlarged
  • organized intellectual skills- understanding of
  • knowledge skills of learning ideas and values
  • (knowing that) (knowing how) (knowing why)
  • Paideia Goals - The goals are to prepare students to: earn a living; be a good citizen; be a lifelong learner.
  • Column 1 Column 2 Column 3
  • Means by means of by means of by means of
  • Didactic Coaching, Socratic
  • instruction, exercises, questioning
  • lectures and supervised participation
  • responses, practice
  • textbooks and
  • other aids

Column 1 Column 2 Column 3

  • Column 1 Column 2 Column 3
  • Areas, Language, Reading, writing Discussion of
  • Literature, and speaking, listening books (not
  • the Fine Arts textbook) and
  • other works of
  • Mathematics and Calculating, art and Natural Sciences problem solving, involvement in
  • observing, artistic activities,
  • measuring, e.g., music,
  • History, estimating drama, visual arts
  • Geography, and
  • Social Studies Exercising critical
  • judgment

The Three Types of Learning Promoted by Paidea

  • Paideia stress three types of teaching and learning: 
  • 1. Socratic teaching in seminars with primary sources (e.g., documents, essays, speeches, stories, art and math and science experiments) for understanding;

Coaching sessions for developments of specific skills (e.g., reading, writing, listening, analyzing, computing, and problem-solving);

  • Coaching sessions for developments of specific skills (e.g., reading, writing, listening, analyzing, computing, and problem-solving);
  • Didactic instruction for recall of important facts and information.

The Great Ideas- Mortimer Adler

  • The following 102 topics are the called the Great Ideas, and represent the index of the Syntopicon. Invented by Dr. Mortimer J. Adler, the Syntopicon is a topical index of Britannica's Great Books.

Comprising the first two volumes of the Great Books set, the Syntopicon allows readers to locate within the set any text that addresses that particular idea.  Each Idea is accompanied by an introductory essay, and an outline which breaks down the main issues regarding the Idea that have been discussed and debated throughout history.

  • Comprising the first two volumes of the Great Books set, the Syntopicon allows readers to locate within the set any text that addresses that particular idea.  Each Idea is accompanied by an introductory essay, and an outline which breaks down the main issues regarding the Idea that have been discussed and debated throughout history.

The development of the Syntopicon was a monumental task that took Dr. Adler and a staff of 90 ten years to complete. With the Syntopicon, the Great Books set becomes the single greatest reference set of the greatest body of knowledge in history.

  • The development of the Syntopicon was a monumental task that took Dr. Adler and a staff of 90 ten years to complete. With the Syntopicon, the Great Books set becomes the single greatest reference set of the greatest body of knowledge in history.

1    Angel 2    Animal 3    Aristocracy

  • 1    Angel 2    Animal 3    Aristocracy
  • 4    Art 5    Astronomy and      Cosmology 6    Beauty 7    Being 8    Cause 9    Chance 10   Change 11   Citizen 12   Constitution
  • 13   Courage 14   Custom and      Convention
  • 15   Definition 16   Democracy 17   Desire 18   Dialectic 19   Duty 20   Education 21   Element 22   Emotion 23   Eternity 24   Evolution 25   Experience

26   Family 27   Fate 28   Form

  • 26   Family 27   Fate 28   Form
  • 29   God 30   Good and Evil 31   Government 32   Habit 33   Happiness 34   History 35   Honor 36   Hypothesis 37   Idea 38   Immortality
  • 39   Induction 40   Infinity 41   Judgment
  • 42   Justice 43   Knowledge 44   Labor 45   Language 46   Law 47   Liberty 48   Life and Death 49   Logic 50   Love 51   Man 52   Mathematics and Science

53   Matter 54   Mechanics 55   Medicine

  • 53   Matter 54   Mechanics 55   Medicine
  • 56   Memory and        Imagination 57   Metaphysics 58   Mind 59   Monarchy 60   Nature 61   Necessity &      Contingency 62   Oligarchy 63   One and Many
  • 64   Opinion 65   Opposition 66   Philosophy
  • 67   Physics 68   Pleasure and Pain 69   Poetry 70   Principle 71   Progress 72   Prophecy 73   Prudence 74   Punishment 75   Quality 76   Quantity 77   Reasoning

78   Relation 79   Religion 80   Revolution

  • 78   Relation 79   Religion 80   Revolution
  • 81   Rhetoric 82   Same and Other 83   Science 84   Sense 85   Sign and Symbol 86   Sin 87   Slavery 88   Soul 89   Space 90   State
  • 91   Temperance 92   Theology 93   Time
  • 94   Truth 95   Tyranny and      Despotism 96   Universal and      Particular 97   Virtue and Vice 98   War and Peace 99   Wealth 100  Will 101  Wisdom 102  World

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