What is Paideia?

Paideia is the Greek term for the holistic education of the ideal member of the polis, or city state. It incorporates education in both the liberal arts (such as literature and philosophy), as well as scientific inquiry and experimentation. You can read more on wikipedia here.

How did this project get started?

This project was funded through a grant Josh Shapiro received from Gallatin in the Fall of 2017. The Gallatin Student Resource Fund exists to help students create events and programs that build community at Gallatin. Josh knew there were many notable educators at NYU, and believed creating an opportunity for students to showcase their vision for a 21st century education would both build community within Gallatin and serve as a compelling foundation for a public education symposium.

What is Gallatin?

Gallatin is a small school for individualized study within NYU. Students are encouraged to design their own majors, and take classes at schools across NYU like Tisch, Stern, Steinhardt, Tandon, CAS, SPS, etc. You can find out more about Gallatin on their website here

Was this project part of a class at Gallatin?

Only 6 out of 20+ students who helped make this project possible received academic credit for their work. Those 6 students participated in 2 different tutorials (small individualized classes) at Gallatin that studied architecture and curriculum design. Over fifteen students worked long hours and late nights without pay and without receiving academic credit. We believe this interest and excitement proves the potential for problem and project based learning.

Are the students involved all studying architecture or curriculum design?

No. In fact, very few of the students involved in the project were studying architecture before joining the team, and none of us had experience with curriculum design. The majority of us taught ourselves 3D modeling software through YouTube videos and online forums, and developed a passion for architecture in order to build the school we would have liked to attend ourselves. The curriculum was designed through the sharing of perspective and experience of team members in varying high schools around the country and the world.

What are the next steps for the project?

Our goal with the project was to inspire people to think about the future of K-12 education. Now that we have finished our designs, we will work to spread the word and share some of the ideas that came out of our efforts with those who have the potential to make a difference in public schools across the country.

How can I help?

You can help by spreading the word, and sharing our website and video with friends and family. If you are a journalist, and would like to write a story on the project, please reach out to Josh Shapiro (contact info below). 

I am an educator. How can I do my own Paideia Project with my students? 

We believe students across the country should have the opportunity to think critically about their education and work collaboratively to build the school of their dreams. We are currently designing a template for high school teachers to use to lead their own version of the Paideia Project, but in the meantime feel free to reach out to us using the contact information below and we will be happy to help you create a structure for your class.


Team Leader
Joshua Shapiro
(413) 446-3737

General Inquiries: