Program Description

(808) 932-7416

(808) 932-7651

Haleʻōlelo, room 128

The Kahuawaiola Indigenous Teacher Education Program is a three-semester post-baccalaureate program, delivered primarily through the medium of Hawaiian, specifically designed to prepare Mauli Ola Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian identity nurturing) teachers of the highest quality to teach in Hawaiian language medium schools, Hawaiian language and culture programs in English medium schools, and schools serving students with a strong Hawaiian cultural background. Kahuawaiola is accredited through the State Approval of Teacher Education Programs (SATE). Upon successful completion of the program, candidates will have satisfied one of the requirements for initial licensure from the Hawaiʻi Teachers Standards Board. (See Graduation Requirements section for additional requirements for recommendation to the HTSB.)

Based on the Hawaiian concepts Ma ka hana ka ʻike (knowledge comes from direct experience), and Ma mua ka hana, ma hope ka walaʻau (direct experience comes first, discussion comes second), Kahuawaiola places a high value on on-site learning and practicum experience with high performance outcomes. Academics are integrated in a spiraling sequence and holistic indigenous approach utilizing the classrooms and outside environment for a balance of theory and applied learning situations. The four areas of teacher preparation throughout the program include,

  1. Hawaiian language, culture, and values;
  2. pedagogical skills;
  3. knowledge of content; and
  4. development of professional qualities.

Kahuawaiola is delivered through a Hawaiian cultural framework of four pale, or phases. The first pale, Wanaʻao, requires that students accepted into the program have previous experience in teaching and/or curriculum development through the medium of Hawaiian. (See Entrance Requirements section for complete description of work experience requirement.)

The second phase, Kahikole, takes place during the summer. During this foundation phase of teacher training, principles of learning and teaching are integrated with state standards and general educational theory through a philosophy of education, Ke Kumu Honua Mauli Ola, based on Hawaiian traditions. Students learn to integrate Hawaiian culture and Hawaiian pedagogy into all phases of the curriculum and content areas including differential learning strategies, lesson planning, assessment, classroom management, and other skills necessary for practical application in the third pale. Students carry a total course load of 13 credits during the summer session.

Teacher candidates then invest two full semesters of student teaching experience at Hawaiian medium school locations around the state. Students are encouraged to return to their home communities for the practicum phases and are supported by a cooperating teacher, and regular site visits from clinical faculty, and professional development workshops where students are given the opportunity to interact with practicing Hawaiian immersion professionals throughout the state. Students are expected to commit full-time to the practicum experience, which also includes a discussion seminar held on Saturdays via HITS (Hawaiʻi Interactive Television System). The third phase, Kahikū, takes place during the fall semester and focuses on developing teaching skills but includes discussion of broader issues as appropriate. Students carry a total course load of 12 credits during the fall semester which includes both the practicum and seminar.

The fourth phase, Kaulolo, takes place during the spring semester and focuses on mastery of teaching skills and professionalism through extended teaching experiences and seminar support. The seminar focuses on hypothetical situations and long range goals rather than practical day-to-day situations, although these are also covered when appropriate. In this pale, students acquire the higher level planning and conceptualization skills necessary for the growth of Hawaiian medium education. During the spring semester, students again carry a total course load of 12 credits which includes both the practicum and seminar.

Evaluation of Hawaiian language proficiency is delivered through a battery of tests that evaluate the level of fluency in six areas:

  1. reading comprehension;
  2. aural comprehension;
  3. use of standard orthography in adapting older materials;
  4. translation from English;
  5. composition; and
  6. oral language skills demonstrated in an interview.

Academic Status, Progression, and Readmission Policies

Kahuawaiola students are expected to complete the program in three consecutive semesters while also maintaining full-time status. Students are also expected to fully devote their energies and efforts to the course work, field experiences, and other requirements of the program. There are no elective courses.

Unless designated credit/no credit, Kahuawaiola courses may not be taken on a credit/no credit basis. A 3.0 GPA must be maintained in all Kahuawaiola courses. A student whose GPA falls below 3.0 may be dismissed from the program. Likewise, a student may be removed from a field experience if it is determined by Kahuawaiola faculty that the student is not making satisfactory progress toward meeting the requirements of the program. Such removal may result in complete dismissal from the program.