Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences is a magnet school focused on teaching through the Paideia Philosophy. CSAS uses seminars as a regular part of student instruction, as a collaborative intellectual discussion based on the ideas in a common text. Seminars are facilitated with open-ended questions, allowing discussion to develop intellectually, assisting students to grow socially, learning more about themselves and others as well as practicing the skills of civil discourse.
The Paideia philosophy celebrates the fundamental notion that to be fully educated is a lifelong adventure that only begins with formal schooling. It is based on the assumption that all humans are active learners, capable of a full humanist life defined by intellectual growth. Thus, Paideia schools prepare students for a full and active life of the heart and mind.
The Paideia Proposal outlined a comprehensive course of study that incorporates three complementary instructional techniques or columns. Known as the Three Columns of Instruction, the techniques are: didactic instruction of factual information; intellectual coaching of skills; and seminar discussion of ideas, concepts, and values.”