Mai uka a i kai: from the mountains to the sea 'aina-based education in the ahupua'a of Waipa

Blaich, Mehana D.B.
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
Using the ahupuaʻa of Waipa on the island of Kaua'i as a case study, this thesis argues that ʻaina-based (place-based) Hawaiian Educational programs provide powerful learning experiences for Hawaiian and non-Hawaiian students alike. Ten fifth and sixth grade students participated in focus groups in which they analyzed selected video clips of themselves learning at Waipa. Findings support the effectiveness of ʻaina-based Hawaiian educational strategies for both Hawaiian and non-Hawaiian students. The study concludes that students focus, learn, and retain more in the natural environment than inside the classroom and develop a strong sense of kuleana (responsibility) and desire to malama (care for) the Hawaiian culture and ʻaina through their participation in the program. This thesis also considers challenging issues of cultural authority, proposing a high standard of respect, sensitivity, and excellence among all who learn about and teach the Hawaiian culture.
vi, 95 leaves
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