Paideia 101: Intro to Paideia

Paideia (n. Greek)- education.

Paideia (n. Greek)- first-year class required at liberal arts college which addresses enduring questions about humanity through literature, discussions, research, and essay writing.

In my first year of college, I had to take two semesters of “Paideia,” and while I feel that much of what we learned was covered in AP English (namely how to discuss and write at a college level), we have studied many things that make us think and some that are rather interesting.  Here is a brief overview of what we studied this year:

Semester One: What does it mean to be human?  What makes us human?

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Frederick Douglass

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Excerpts from “On the Origin of Man” and “Descent of Man” by Charles Darwin

Excerpts from “Natural Theology” by William Paley

The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

R.U.R. by Karel Capek

Michelangelo’s frescoes in the Sistine Chapel

“The Creation” by Franz Joseph Haydn

Semester Two: What do we know?  How do we know what we know?

The Return of Martin Guerre by Natalie Zeamon Davis

Personal Research Paper

“The Allegory of the Cave” by Plato

Sidereus Nuncius by Galileo Galilei

“In A Grove” and “Rashomon” by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa

Rashomon film directed by Akira Kurosawa

Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Adichie

These various mediums have given me much to think about, some of which I would like to discuss here on EurOK.  Therefore, this introductory article serves to explain Paideia, which will be a new category of articles here on EurOK to talk about more “academic” things.  But don’t let academia scare you- Paideia is all about social and cultural impact on humanity.  It is timelessly relevant.  I’m sure you’ll understand.



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