Paideia: The Classical Way
"Without some joy in learning the joy that arises from hard work well done and from the participation of one's mind in a common task basic schooling cannot initiate the young into the life of learning, let alone give them the skill and the incentive to engage in it further. Only the student whose mind has been engaged in thinking for itself is an active participant in the learning process that is essential to basic schooling." - Mortimer Adler
"What is Paideia?"
The Paideia Program advocates that all learners practice the critical thinking, communication skills, and attitudes necessary to earn a living, be an active citizen, and pursue a meaningful life.
Paideia is high-quality education for all—preparing children of all backgrounds, in all kinds of schools, to live up to their full and resonant potential.
Paideia is preparation for a full life—teaching all students to Think, Discuss, and Act in ways that will help them thrive in the volatile world of the 21st century.
A Classical Christian school is often a counter-cultural place. We are seeking to instill knowledge and wisdom that other schools seek to bombard with data and information. We daily strive to cultivate habits that complement Kingdom virtues instead of worldly dispositions and desires. Charlotte Mason, a key figure who influences our Grammar school at Veritas, believed that we must make certain that learning is an atmosphere.
“First, we put the habit of Attention, because the highest intellectual gifts depend for their value upon the measure in which their owner has cultivated the habit of attention.”
You may be hearing the word “seminar” more than you used to at Veritas. Of the many things that place our Classical Christian education in a unique place, Paideia seminars stand at the top of the list. We are using this Classical approach to engage our students, of all grades, in many subjects.
Be it seminars, nature studies, or ever-present works of great art, we are calling everyone to “pay attention.” This act of slowing down and listening with great care, or looking with keener eyes, and noticing with a clearer and more focused mind is counter-cultural and is complementary to the Christian virtues of love and patience.
From our seniors all the way to our littlest ones in Pre-K, we are modeling and teaching what it means to pay careful attention. We are teaching them all to take possession of the mind, in clear and vivid form, and to focus on one out of what seems several simultaneously possible objects. It implies withdrawal and the setting aside of some things in order to give greater attentiveness to others.