UH offers textbooks to Hawaiʻi public schools

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Jim Manke, (808) 956-6099
UH Manoa Public Affairs
Lani Abrigana, (808) 956-4949
College of Education
Posted: Apr 23, 2003

Hawaiʻi‘s public school teachers could bring as many as 10,000 new textbooks into their classrooms next school year — thanks to a proposal announced today at the University of Hawaiʻi College of Education.

The College‘s Curriculum Research and Development Group (CRDG), long-time developers of math, science, literature and other text books used in Hawaiʻi schools and around the world, is offering classroom sets of books to teachers who enroll in workshops this summer to learn how to best use these resources.

Reports of severe textbook shortages in Hawaiʻi‘s public schools prompted brainstorming among CRDG‘s development team, according to director Don Young. "We looked at our inventory and identified as many as 10,000 books in math, science and language arts that we felt we could make available." The books have a monetary value of just under $300,000.

"This is a win-win situation for everyone," Young said. "The students get textbooks, the schools save on their textbook budgets, and CRDG gets to collect evaluation data."

Textbooks to be made available include titles in algebra I, literature, marine science, and a middle-school science program, Foundational Approaches to Science and Technology (FAST). Those DOE teachers accepting donations of algebra and science textbooks will be required to first take CRDG‘s professional development workshops this summer in the use of these programs. There is a cost to attend these workshops, although fees have been reduced. As part of its ongoing research to show program effectiveness, CRDG will ask that teachers provide evaluation data in return. This is a one-time donation for this year only.

College of Education Dean Randy Hitz pointed out that "While we would like to give everyone textbooks, CRDG is basically a small educational publisher that cannot afford to exhaust its inventory. Revenue from the sales of these bookshelps support ongoing research into the development of effective materials and teaching methods. We are pleased, however, to make whatever contribution we can towards educating Hawaiʻi‘s public school students."

State Department of Education Superintendent Pat Hamamoto acknowledged the dual value of the offer. "The monetary value is deeply appreciated in these tight budget times," she said. "The educational value is even greater, and will multiply as our students use the books to acquire important knowledge and skills."

The UH CRDG works with and through its pilot- and field-test site, the University Laboratory School. In 2001 the school became a charter school and changed its name to The Education Laboratory. The school is managed by CRDG and serves as its real-world laboratory for the creation of programs suitable for a wide range of students. To this end, students are selected to represent the state‘s general student population. (Outside schools also participate in the research, development, and evaluation phases before the materials are finally published and disseminated.)

More than 500,000 students in Hawaiʻi, forty-two other states, and six foreign countries, use textbooks and instructional materials that were developed by CRDG. About 26,000 teachers have gone through CRDG‘s workshops, seeking to increase their content knowledge and learn effective instructional strategies.

CRDG‘s programs have won national recognition and awards. In 2001, the FAST science program was designated as an exemplary program by the U.S. Education Department ʻs Expert Panel on Mathematics & Science Education . CRDG‘s elementary science program, "Developmental Approaches in Science and Health" was given a "promising program" designation. The algebra I program was similarly recognized by the US DOE as a "promising practice" in mathematics education.

CRDG was founded in 1966 as the Hawaii Curriculum Center, a joint activity of the state Department of Education and UH. Although no longer part of the DOE, CRDG continues its mission to improve instructional programs and practices in classrooms throughout the state, researching, designing, and publishing instructional materials for students and teachers, from grades kindergarten through 12.

Teachers who wish to register for the DOE professional Development credit obtain more information by calling 956-4969 and information about Outreach College 500 level credit courses at the Web site above.

For more information, visit: http://www.summer.hawaii.edu/2003_summer_catalog/programs_credit/033/