To educate the whole child by teaching thinking and communication skills. To learn content without the ability to synthesize, analyze, create, and relate one’s findings to others through sophisticated verbal and written communication is to perform only part of one’s function as a scholar.

Key Skills and Features:

Our program offers yearlong integrated courses in grades 10 through 12 emphasizing the social sciences. Students will study history, political theory, economics, and literature. In Paideia, students are also being prepared to read and write for college matriculation purposes.


  • Grade 10: Two-hour block of English 2 and World Cultures;
  • Grade 11: Two-hour block of English 3 and US History (Honors or AP);
  • Grade 12: Three-hour block of English 4, AP Government/Economics, and Comparative Government HP

Prerequisites and Requirements:

Achieve at least a “B” in California Studies and English 1 (for Grade 10), World Cultures and World Literature (for Grade 11), and U.S. History and American Literature (for Grade 12); Recommendation from staff members honored; Commitment to substantial level of homework and extensive summer assignment


Ms. Maryann Wolfe, Room 103, 879-3050 x103. Ms. Marietta Joe, Room A4, 879-3050 x311

Paideia Graduate College Information: Click here to view information about Paideia Program graduates and the colleges and universities to which they were admitted.

10th Grade Paideia 10 is a year-long course that emphasizes the humanities. Students will fulfill both World Cultures and English 2 requirements taking this two-period course. The course emphasizes essay writing, vocabulary-building, and critical thinking and reading, using literature that corresponds to the eras and areas studied in World History. Critical thinking is stressed in class discussion.
11th Grade Paideia 11 is a year-long course involving a rigorous study of the breadth and depth of American history and literature, demanding advanced critical thinking, composition, and reading skills. Students will fulfill U.S. History AP and English 3 HP by taking this two-period course. Because of these demands, students in the course receive “quality points” for college and university admissions: A=5, B=4, and C=3. Students are required to take the Advanced Placement Examination in American History.
12th Grade Paideia 12 is a year-long course that emphasizes the humanities. Students will fulfill English 4 AP, Comparative Government HP, and American Government AP by taking this three-period class. This course emphasizes essay writing, critical thinking, and essay examinations using world literature that corresponds to themes studied in political theory and government. Class discussion is emphasized. Students are required to take Advanced Placement examinations in English Literature and American Government. See the Course Description for Paideia 12 below.

PAIDEIA 12 2007-2008

ENGLISH IV – AP Ms. Joe POLITICAL THEORY (COMP GOVT) – HP Ms. Wolfe AMERICAN GOVT/ECON – AP/HP Ms. Wolfe COURSE DESCRIPTION POLITICAL THEORY (COMPARATIVE GOVERNMENT) HONORS: The majority of the course will focus on the political and economic philosophies of Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, More, Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Smith, Mill, DeTocqueville, Marx, Lenin, and Mao. Where possible, connections, comparison, and contrasts will be made with American political theory and government and with English literature. ENGLISH IV (ADVANCED PLACEMENT) The course content will focus on the literature (drama, novels, short stories, poetry, and essays) that best illustrates the social climate of the above theorists’ philosophies, some contemporaneous with the philosophers themselves, others not. The literature will be closely analyzed for literary style and value as well as the piece’s connection with its social environment. The class will concentrate on critical, personal, fiction, and creative writing throughout the year. Debate will be incorporated throughout the course. All students will be required to take the Advanced Placement Examination in English Literature. AMERICAN GOVERNMENT/ECONOMICS: (ADVANCED PLACEMENT/HONORS) The bulk of the course will focus on American government and politics. The major themes to be examined are democracy, federalism, the Presidency, Congress, the Judiciary, bureaucracy, politics, policy-making, political parties, campaigns, elections, public opinion and participation, interest groups, the media, and civil liberties. The purpose in considering these themes is to aid one in understanding the philosophy and the functioning of the American political system. Political Science, the study of government, is not only a fascinating subject but also a most important discipline since all major decisions in a modern, interdependent society are made in the political realm. Not even the most designing recluse can escape the effects of these political decisions. All students are required to take the Advanced Placement American Government Examination at the conclusion of the course. The final portion of the course will be devoted to a study of economics. The basic theories that make up the foundations of economics, concepts of microeconomics (pricing, competition, government regulation, and antitrust policy), concepts of macroeconomics (federal budget, deficits, taxes,the federal reserve system, economic growth, and monetary policies), income distribution and economic justice, and the changing global economy will be examined. METHODS: This course will be taught by the Paideia method. Paideia comes from the Greek “pais,” meaning educating the whole child by teaching thinking and communication skills. The class time will be divided into three unequal parts: time spent learning knowledge, time spent sharpening communication skills, and time spent discussing subject matter. MAJOR COURSE REQUIREMENTS: 1] Read all texts and supplementary books listed below as well as additional readings assigned as the course progresses. 2] Present one debate (senior project). 3] Present four-six presentations (live and/or video). 4] Write numerous analytical, creative, and personal essays. 5] Write essay examinations, one each grading period. 6] Write a personal essay for college entrance. 7] Take advanced placement examinations in American Government and English literature. 8] Twenty percent of the course grade will be based upon participation in class discussion; the remaining eighty percent of the course grade will be based upon written assignments. BOOK LIST FOR POLITICAL THEORY/ENGLISH LITERATURE:

  • The Great Political Theories, Vol. I – Curtis
  • The Great Political Theories, Vol. II – Curtis
  • Elements of Literature: English Literature – Holt, Reinhart & Winston
  • The Norton Reader – seventh edition – Eastman et al
  • Grammar and Composition, Level 6 – Prentice Hall
  • Crime and Punishment – Dostoevsky
  • A Prayer for Owen Meany – Irving
  • Lysistrata – Aristophanes
  • Antigone – Sophocles
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God – Hurston
  • The Prince- Machiavelli
  • Hamlet – Shakespeare
  • Richard III – Shakespeare
  • MacBeth – Shakespeare
  • The Tempest – Shakespeare
  • The Merchant of Venice – Shakespeare
  • Utopia – More
  • Robinson Crusoe – Defoe
  • Candide – Voltaire
  • Modest Proposal – Swift
  • Jane Eyre – Bronte
  • The Communist Manifesto – Marx & Engels
  • The Importance of Being Earnest – Wilde
  • The Glass Menagerie – Williams
  • Animal Farm – Orwell
  • 1984 – Orwell
  • The Handmaid’s Tale – Atwood
  • Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead – Stoppard

Poetry, short stories, and essays of various periods and themes will be interspersed throughout the curriculum. BOOK LIST FOR AMERICAN GOVERNMENT/ECONOMICS: Government by the People (2002) – Burns, Peltason, Cronin American Government; Continuity and Change (2006) – O’Connor, Sabato Economics, Annual Editions – Schlesinger and Beeson, editors A variety of supplementary reading materials (300+ handouts) from newspapers, periodicals, and books will also be assigned to enrich the textbook assignments and to provide varying viewpoints. CLASS RULES1. Always bring a notebook and a pen to class. Your notebook should be the three-ringed type; its purpose is to store readings. 2. When you are absent be sure to see Ms. Joe and Ms. Wolfe upon your return to receive make-up work. You will be given one day for each day you were absent to complete the missed work without penalty. 3. Be attentive: pay attention to directions, listen carefully to lectures, and participate in class discussions. 4. If you have anything to contribute to class discussion, you will be expected to raise your hand for recognition. 5. Use study time in class constructively, not to chat, etc. 6. Do not ask to leave the class unless it is a real emergency. 7. Be punctual (in your seat when the bell rings)! Students who cannot regularly make it to class by 7:25 A.M. will be dropped from the Paideia Program. SCHOLARSHIP GRADE: 1. Scholarship grade is based on a point system. It is important that you complete every assignment in this kind of system. The more points you have, the higher your grade will be. 2. Percentage of total points and resultant letter grades will be computed as follows: 90-100% = A 80- 89% = B 70- 79% = C 60- 69% = D 0- 59% = F 3. Twenty percent of each marking period’s grade will be based upon oral participation in class discussion.4. Semester grade will be computed as follows: First marking period grade = 30% of the semester grade Second marking period grade = 30% of the semester grade Third marking period grade = 40% of the semester grade 5. Students who do not complete the week’s assignments will be required to attend “Responsibility Room” on Friday afternoon between 3:45 and 6:00. During that time students will be required to complete missed work. No student will be allowed to turn in make-up work at the end of the grading periods. CITIZENSHIP GRADE: 1. Citizenship grade will be based upon: * ability to use class time constructively * ability to cooperate with and respect classmates * punctuality ATTENDANCE: 1. Good attendance usually results in optimum learning. Students and their parents should know that AP students are STRONGLY ADVISED NOT to take vacations when classes are in session. If you plan to visit colleges, please use scheduled breaks — Thanksgiving, Winter Break, Spring Break. 2. It is the responsibility of the student to clear his/her absences with the attendance office and with the classroom teacher involved within 2 days after the student’s return subsequent to each absence. Failure to clear absences as described above will result in the consideration of those absences as cuts or unexcused absences. 3. Note: Keep in mind that approximately 6 unexcused absences will result in an “F” for the report period; i.e., no credit will be given.

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