The Gentleman’s Breakfast Club Using Paideia Principles to Inspire Achievement
The Gentleman’s Breakfast Club:
Using Paideia Principles to Inspire
Presented by Tony Goldston
Visual Arts Education
“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he
should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo
painted, or Beethoven composed music or
Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep
streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and
earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great
street sweeper who did his job well.”― Martin
Luther King Jr.
Paideia is a holistic approach to life-long
learning with roots in ancient Greece. The
Paideia Program argues for a public education
that is at once more rigorous and more
Paideia is a more kid-friendly way to learn.
Students don’t just sit there absorbing
information; they learn how to be learners.
Paideia teaches creative thinking. – Amy Burke
The Paideia Principles
• That all children can learn.
• That they all deserve the same quality of
schooling, not just the same quantity.
• That the quality of schooling to which they are
entitled is what the wisest parents would wish for
their own children.
• That schooling at its best is preparation for
becoming generally educated in the course of a
whole lifetime, and that schools should be judged
on how well they provide such preparation.
According to the Principles of Paideia
The three callings for which schooling should prepare
all students are:
To earn a decent livelihood.
To be a good citizen of the nation and the
To make a good life for one’s self.
More Paideia Principles
The primary purpose of genuine learning is to
develop the emotional, social, spiritual and
physical aspects of a learner’s mind, with the
teacher acting as a facilitator of growth.
The end result of the Paideia approach is the
growth of the mind’s understanding of basic
ideas and issues.
Key Elements of The Gentlemans
The program is designed to help young men
develop skills that will aid them, not only
during the middle and high school years, but
well into their adult lives.
Primary Focus of the Breakfast Club
Respect for self and others.
Communication with adults and peers.
Making wise choices.
Making a difference at school and in the
• Character Development.
Four Guiding Principles of The
Gentleman’s Breakfast Club
1) Be impeccable with your word.
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid
using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip
about others. Use the power of your word in the
direction of truth and love.
2) Don't Take Anything Personally.
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and
do is a projection of their own dream. When you are
immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be
the victim of needless suffering.
(developed from the book: “The Four Agreements”, by: Miguel Angel
3) Don't Make Assumptions.
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what
you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as
you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and
drama. With just this one agreement, you can
completely transform your life.
4) Always Do Your Best.
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it
will be different when you are healthy as opposed to
sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and
you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.
(developed from the book: “The Four Agreements”, by: Miguel Angel Ruiz)
“Excellence is not an act, but a habit. The things
you do most are the things you do best.”
Marva Collins, American Educator
“I tell [kids] they don’t have to be an athlete to
acquire self-image. Be what you are. Writer.
Student. Let it happen and draw off of that.”
Jasmine Guy, American Actress
“Wisdom Of The Millennium”, by Helen Exley
“The Four Agreements,” by Miguel Angel Ruiz
“The Artist’s Way”, by Julia Cameron
“Mindfulness and Meaningful Work”, by Claude Whitmyer
“African-American Wisdom”, A Book of Quotes and
Proverbs, Compiled by Quinn Eli
“The Variety of Religious Experiences”, by William James
“Touchstones: A Book of Daily Meditations for Men”,
Hazelden Foundation Education Materials