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Training in Hawaiian 'values' will prepare schoolteachers

By Jennifer Sinco Kelleher

Associated Press


A Hawaii island teacher preparation program that focuses on developing educators to work with Native Hawaiian students in charter schools recently earned national accreditation, allowing it to soon begin recruiting students.

The Teacher Education Accreditation Council sent the program a confirmation letter last week saying it has earned five-year accreditation, Kaho‘i­wai Director Joe Fraser said July 22.

The Waimea program provides a way to earn a license to teach in the state that's an alternative option to traditional university-based programs. It was born out of a need to develop local teachers who have an understanding of the unique needs of Native Hawaiian students, Fraser said. While the program focuses on charter schools, those who earn licenses can teach anywhere in the state.

"Hawaii has a shortage of teachers," Fraser said. "It's trying to meet the needs of Hawaiian students in the school system in real terms."

A big part of the program involves six five-day residential sessions in Wai­pio Valley, where students study language and cultural practices still used by the community, while learning about incorporating those skills and values in the classroom.

The residential component is combined with online coursework. That makes it easier for students to continue working while participating in the program. An example of those who might find the program useful are those who are emergency hires or teacher's aides who want to pursue a license, Fraser said.

"It's alternative in that there's no bricks-and-mortar university," he said. "It's a values-based program."

It's important to give teachers training in how to be effective in nontraditional schools, such as charter schools, said Wil Okabe, president of the Hawaii State Teachers Association. "This is an opportunity for teachers to get the training they need to identify with Native Hawaiian kids," he said.

<t-5>The program is one of 13 Hawaii-based teacher preparation programs approved by the Hawaii Teacher Standards Board. The board is expected to ratify Kaho‘i­­wai's accreditation next month, Fraser said. Then, Kaho‘i­wai will be able to begin recruitment.

Details, such as tuition, are still being worked out for the 18-month program for about 20 students, who are aspiring teachers who have a bachelor's degree in the subject area they want to be licensed in. After completing the program, students will receive a teaching certificate that's necessary to apply for a license.

The program focuses on grades seven-12 in the subject areas of math, English, science, social studies and Hawaiian studies.

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Mythman wrote:
"Hawaiian" values? After 1778 there were no more such values and going forward these became, first, colonial and missionary "values" and then later Chinese, Japanese and, most egregiously, royal (British style royalism) "values". This is a Kam Schools B S effort, to match the way in which they deem any local with one drop of actual native blood a "Native Hawaiian", or "Hawaiian" even after the US Supreme Court said this is a racial classification. Kam Schools took on more than it could handle instead of sticking to the actual native nearest kinship group so now the taxpayer has to make up the difference. Wrong.
on July 29,2013 | 06:03AM
Makua wrote:
Having read the above article I come away with a real desire to know and understand what are the unique problems of teaching Hawaiian children. Do the teachers make allowances and if so why? Why is a Hawaiian student unique? I regret the Hawaiian school I attended in my youth where I was denied a complete education because those in authority thought I was incapable of learning the subject matter. As a result my later college degree was postponed until mandatory remedial courses were satisfied. Provide a rich environment of education and let the kids flourish. I'm a believer in "the mush between the ears is equal in all kids" Any kid can learn if properly taught.
on July 29,2013 | 06:05AM
inuulu wrote:
Hawaiians make up a large number of people on the "bad lists." Too many in jail, on welfare, drop outs, drug users, teen pregnancies and others. If this type of learning will reduce these numbers then its worth it.
on July 29,2013 | 07:21PM
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