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The Paideia Program

The Paideia Project at Boston University is dedicated to reconsidering the qualitative aspects of education in ways that are both critical and effective. By qualitative we mean the character forming values and principles that contribute to an ethical life of responsible citizenship and intellectual depth; by critical we mean a scholarly analysis of these values and principles in an international context; and by effective we mean the development of goals, objectives, and mechanisms whereby the results of these critical inquiries can be disseminated in ways that contribute to educational innovation and reform.

Operational Concept

The classical notion of paideia, broadly understood as the moral cultivation of virtue, unifies our work. Within the framework of our project, the concept of paideia has two operative dimensions: first, a theoretical dimension which concerns inquiry, research, and discourse regarding the meaning of the good; and second, a practical dimension through which the meaning of paideia can be conveyed to the next generation through various educational means.


The Paideia Project is a scholarly enterprise based on dialogue, research and the dissemination of findings. The project draws upon an international field of experts and practitioners from a broad spectrum of educational, philosophical and political backgrounds in order to contribute to the development and implementation of specific programs of educational innovation and reform, both in the United States and abroad.


The Paideia Project seeks to initiate and to sustain innovation and reform by way of the following specific strategies:

• Philosophical dialogue amongst scholars regarding the contemporary significance of the classical sources of paideia in a time of unparalleled social and cultural change

• Pedagogical and inter-cultural dialogue between educators and students of all ages regarding fundamental human values in an era of globalization in order to implement paideia focused curricula in traditional and non-traditional educational contexts

• Communicative dialogue amongst educators, business managers, and other professionals regarding the value of paideia focused curricula in the marketplace


The goals of the Paideia Project are as follows:

• To determine the content of paideia for the twenty-first century

• To develop and implement paideia focused curricula for traditional and non-traditional educational sites

• To test, measure, and evaluate paideia focused curricula at selected educational sites in the United States and abroad

• To formulate policy recommendations for educational reform based upon the results of these inquiries and programs

• To disseminate the results of conferences, research programs, and curricula products in multi-media formats

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