Ho'okulāiwi: 'Aha Ho'ona'auao 'Oiwi (Center for Native Hawaiian and Indigenous Education) Receives Award from Office of Hawaiian Affair

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Jennifer Beaulieu, 956-4388
College of Education
Posted: Nov 12, 2008

As the last bastion of native speakers of Hawaiian in the world, the Niʻihau community is vitally important to the perpetuation of the Hawaiian language. Recognizing the uniqueness and importance of this community, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs has joined with the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa College of Education to provide funding to support Hoʻokulāiwi: ʻAha Hoʻonaʻauao ʻŌiwi develop its Niʻihau Teacher Education Initiative. OHA's one-year grant of just over $40,000 helps establish a teacher certification program for five educators from the island of Niʻihau.

"Funding from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs will enable our Hoʻokulāiwi faculty to develop the initial stage of an innovative Bachelor of Education program for the Niʻihau teachers. We are very excited about working with the teachers. Because most of them already have several years of teaching experience, we are designing this as an in-service initiative," noted Margie Maaka, Director of Hoʻokulāiwi."

The goal is to graduate the teachers at the end of 2012. "Niʻihau's isolation and unique circumstances call for innovative measures," said Principal Investigator Pōhai Kukea Shultz. "We are very fortunate to have Kahea Faria and Ipo Wong, both from the Niʻihau community, serving as program co-coordinators. They have ʻinside‘ knowledge and connections that are helping us to plan more effectively." The Niʻihau teachers can expect a range of exciting experiences including interning at Nānāikapono Elementary, Hookulāiwi‘s partner school in Nānākuli; having university courses delivered on Niʻihau; working with faculty from UH-Mānoa‘s Kawaihuelani Center for Hawaiian Language; and attending conferences on education with other Hoʻokulāiwi students. Kukea Shultz added, "We believe that our Hawaiian language immersion pre-service teachers will benefit greatly from exchanges with our Niʻihau teachers."

Hoʻokulāiwi, recent recipient of a national award from the National Network for Educational Renewal, provides programs of study in teacher education and curriculum research that prepare teachers for Hawaiʻi Department of Education Title I schools with large numbers of Hawaiian children; for Hawaiian Language Immersion schools; and for Hawaiian charter schools. In addition, Hoʻokulāiwi prepares Native Hawaiian educational leaders in areas such as curriculum research, school administration, and teacher education through study at the masters and doctoral levels. Research focuses on Hawaiian and Western culture and practices within the broader context of school and community development—the dual goal being the preparation of highly effective teachers and highly effective curricula for schools with large numbers of Hawaiian children.

For more information on Hoʻokulāiwi, please contact Margie Maaka at marg@hawaii.edu or Pōhai Kukea Shultz at pohai@hawaii.edu.