The primary mission of the National Paideia Center (NPC) is to support public education in the United States that is both intellectually rigorous and fundamentally equitable. Established in the 1980s by philosopher Mortimer Adler, Paideia is both a philosophy and a methodology for active learning. The NPC teaches thoughtful, civil dialogue as a fundamental part of all academic study. The hallmark of the program is the Paideia Seminar: a thoughtful, collaborative dialogue facilitated with open-ended questions about a text. In combination with close reading and extensive writing, the Paideia Seminar teaches students how to think critically about the ideas and values that are the foundation of the curriculum.
The NPC partners with school, district, state, and private organizations to support the successful implementation of LDC tools at all levels (K-12) and in all subject areas. Our primary focus is on curriculum planning and delivery, such that all children are trained to read, speak, listen, write, and think with clarity, coherence, and sophistication. In addition to the reading and writing strategies featured in the original LDC modules, we stress the complementary skills of speaking and listening that are essential to the quality of student thinking and student writing.
We work with teachers to plan, implement, and assess LDC modules that are enhanced by one or more Paideia Seminars, which contribute to close reading of demanding texts and successful student writing. In addition, we work with teachers to plan thematically coherent units (containing multiple modules) and coherent CCSS courses of study (containing multiple units). We offer a range of flexible professional development models (including blended-online) to fit the needs of schools and school systems, all of which feature ongoing training and technical support.
The National Paideia Center was one of the first organizations to be invited to join the LDC community as a contributing partner. The core staff of the NPC has been involved with LDC curriculum development and implementation since 2010, specializing in LDC modules and units of study that feature the development of CCSS speaking and listening skills in symbiosis with reading and writing. More recently, the NPC has been engaged in developing model CCSS courses of study that link LDC modules into coherent units. In addition to the core staff, the NPC features a National Paideia faculty of over 35 experienced consultants, allowing us to provide focused, professional school leadership and classroom coaching at all levels (K-12) and in all subject areas.
See exemplary modules in LDC CoreTools authored by educators working with National Paideia Center: