Delivering Culture-Based Learning

The following in an excerpt from the October 2022 issue of Ka Wai Ola written by Ed Kalama

To aid in the delivery of Hawaiian culture-based learning, the Institute for Native Pacific Education and Culture (INPEACE) was recently awarded a $134,309 grant from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to support its Kupu Ola program offered to students at Waiʻanae Intermediate School (WIS).

“This program was created in response to a basic understanding, and subsequent research findings, of the benefits of culture-based education for the growth and development of Native Hawaiian students and its connections to positive student outcomes,” said Sanoe Marfil, who serves as INPEACE’s chief program officer.

“Culture is an integral part of our program. We first ground ourselves to place and people, our moʻokūʻauhau, those who have set a path before us to follow. During this time our students engage their family members to get information and share stories so that they can complete, or begin, their journey to understand who they are.

Sanoe Marfil, INPEACE Chief Program Officer

“Outdoor classrooms, each consisting of garden spaces, help to reintroduce students back to the ʻāina and provide them with hands-on experiences that present multiple opportunities to learn and reinforce lessons being taught in the classroom. Learners are able to thrive outside of the four walls of a typical classroom and engage in learning that is relevant to who they are and where they come from.”

Kupu Ola has been a key component in helping to address the issues of chronic absenteeism, behavioral challenges, and low academic achievement. From an external point of view, Kupu Ola might appear to be a school garden program for students, but the program is focused both on students as well as on teacher development in strategic alignment with state Department of Education curriculum objectives. Read the full article at Delivering Culture-Based Learning – Ka Wai Ola