Paidea 3a

Fall 2009


We will weave together intentionally the strands of Paideia: academics, intercultural, collaborative, and civic engagement. The Paideia Program seeks to assist the Paideia Scholars in their search for a life that is connected, thoughtful, and authentic. Our seminar and tutorial sessions are designed to assist each seminar member in the pursuit of such a life.

The following shared values, methods, and procedures continue to clarify our approach to learning in this seminar:

Therefore, this seminar will require all of us to “stretch” beyond our established frames of reference, limits of understanding, and levels of comfort. The end result will be the integration of diverse learning experiences and progress toward the realization of our respective personal goals with regard to our educations.



The class is offered on a P/D/F basis: 

70%-100% = P
60%-69% = D
<60% = F

To give a sense of scale, normally reflective essays should run about 300-500 words. This is not a huge amount of verbiage, and you are asked to reflect carefully and thoughtfully on the assigned readings.

Reflective essays will be graded according to the following scale:

 Semester Grade. The semester grade will be calculated as follows:

Class/Program participation 50% of final grade
Assignments: 50% of final grade


September 1: Meet with sophomores to discuss civic engagement.

September 8: Class at 11:30. Please read the VERY depressing To Hell with Good Intentions, and post a quick response.

September 15: Common Site discussion: Please post, by Monday, September 14, a response to the prompts regarding the program in San Antonio. There is no class meeting on September 15.

September 22: We need to develop an agenda / set of questions for a conference call with Dr. Kathy Bussert-Webb, Director of the UT-Brownsville Center for Civic Engagament. Please post responses on our common site:

September 29: We will finalize our list of questions to send to civic engagement at UT-Brownsville in advance of a conference call. Please see the questions that you have submitted on the common site.

October 20: See common site.

October 27: See common site.

November 3: One-on-one appointments

Week of November 9: Please read Penelope's Tapestry. Then, please post a first draft of your Paideia Plan (unless you already have posted a plan this semester) at the "Paideia" tab above. The Paideia plan is an aooprtunity to articulate your understanding of the Paideia program, what you expect to draw from it, what you expect to contribute to it, what your hopes and aspirations are for Paideia, what hopes might already have been met or disappointed, etc. Please post your draft by Friday, November 13.

November 17: Luis and I had a telephone conversation on Nov. 12 with Alicia Gomez, who directs an after school program organization in Cameron Park. Dr. Bussert-Webb, the civic engagement director at UT-B, had referred us to her.

The issues that Ms. Gomez brought up:
    assurance that this is not a “parachute” program (like, e.g., certain very well-meaning but short-lived missionary programs)
    status of undocumented families re. financial aid
    that we work with families for whom college is a realistic possibility
    many of the parents cannot read

Ms. Gomez requests from us:

    A description of activities that we propose, and rationale for those activities
    timeline, including specific dates, follow-up, etc. (Saturdays do not work well for her)

I will say that, for my part, I will find it difficult to justify missing Friday classes. We need to think carefully about scheduling.

The first thing that we need to do is establish precisely WHAT we propose to do; then we can move on to the when and how.

We need to finalize what we propose to do during our class session on Tuesday, November 17 (11:00 am, CB 36).

You are encouraged to post ('discuss") thoughts and observations in advance of our class.

Please go to the RGV-Paideia site. The direct url is:

December 1: Please see assignment on RGV site.