Paideia Reed Essay

The Greek word Paideia (Παιδεία) is difficult to translate, but denotes education in its broadest sense. For the ancient Greeks, this included philosophy, poetry, mathematics, physics, rhetoric, gymnastics, music, medicine, and many other disciplines.

The animating idea behind Paideia is to take a break from Reed's rigorous curriculum and spend a week learning things you always wanted to know about but never had the time for, be it the history of punk, the birds of Oregon, throat-singing, Bollywood dance, underwater basketweaving—you name it!

Classes are led by students, alumni, staff, and professors, and are open to the entire Reed community. Length and format are up to you. We've seen classes range from hourlong presentations to afternoon excursions to multi-day workshops.

Schedule Information

Paideia 2018 will take place January 13–21. 

This year, Paideia is powered by Guidebook, the app some of you may remember from Orientation. Information will continue to be updated as Paideia gets closer, so make sure to keep an eye on times and locations!

Please note that, with the exception of Dr. Demento shows, Paideia classes are meant only for the Reed community including students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

There are two ways to use Guidebook after the schedule goes live:

1. Through the app: Search your app store for Reed College and then select the "Guide to Reed" or use this link to receive a text. 

2. Through the web: Use the Guidebook website to view contents of the app on your browser. Note: The website has less functionality than the app. 

Contact the Committee

Send questions or comments to the 2018 Paideia Committee at (

Or contact individual committee members:

I am interested in applying to Reed, but the writing supplement is strange. I am not sure what to write. The previous Reed “why us” writing supplement is easy, but the new Paideia writing supplement is as hard as the question by Pomona (' Imagine you were hired to design and teach a Critical Inquiry course. Describe the title of the class, its contents, and why you chose it.). And I can’t get any sample courses online. The schedule on requires login. :- (

Any suggestions on the structure, content, and style? Thank you

Reed Writing Supplement: For one week at the end of January, Reed students upend the traditional classroom hierarchy and teach classes about any topic they love, academic or otherwise. This week is known as Paideia after the Greek term signifying “education” – the complete education of mind, body and spirit. What would you teach that would contribute to the Reed community? (200 words minimum, 500 words maximum)

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