Kumu ʻAlika
Ni?ihau Education Program Receives Grant
by Kumu ʻAlika - Wednesday, November 12, 2008, 11:34 PM
 
Ni?ihau Education Program Receives Grant
Written by KGMB9 News - news@kgmb9.com   
November 12, 2008 09:51 AM

As the last bastion of native speakers of Hawaiian in the world, the Ni?ihau community is vitally important to the perpetuation of the Hawaiian language. Recognizing the uniqueness and importance of this community, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs has joined with the University of Hawai?i at M?noa College of Education to provide funding to support Ho?okul?iwi: ?Aha Ho?ona?auao ??iwi develop its Ni?ihau Teacher Education Initiative. OHA's one-year grant of just over $40,000 helps establish a teacher certification program for five educators from the island of Ni?ihau.

"Funding from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs will enable our Ho?okul?iwi faculty to develop the initial stage of an innovative Bachelor of Education program for the Ni?ihau teachers. We are very excited about working with the teachers. Because most of them already have several years of teaching experience, we are designing this as an in-service initiative," noted Margie Ma?aka, Director of Ho?okul?iwi."

The goal is to graduate the teachers at the end of 2012. "Ni?ihau's isolation and unique circumstances call for innovative measures," said Principal Investigator P?hai K?kea Shultz. "We are very fortunate to have K?hea Faria and Ipo Wong, both from the Ni?ihau community, serving as program co-coordinators. They have 'inside' knowledge and connections that are helping us to plan more effectively." The Ni?ihau teachers can expect a range of exciting experiences including interning at N?n?ikapono Elementary, Ho?okul?iwi's partner school in N?n?kuli; having university courses delivered on Ni?ihau; working with faculty from UH-M?noa's Kawaihuelani Center for Hawaiian Language; and attending conferences on education with other Ho?okul?iwi students. K?kea Shultz added, "We believe that our Hawaiian language immersion pre-service teachers will benefit greatly from exchanges with our Ni?ihau teachers."

Ho?okul?iwi, recent recipient of a national award from the National Network for Educational Renewal, provides programs of study in teacher education and curriculum research that prepare teachers for Hawai?i Department of Education Title I schools with large numbers of Hawaiian children; for Hawaiian Language Immersion schools; and for Hawaiian charter schools. In addition, Ho?okul?iwi prepares Native Hawaiian educational leaders in areas such as curriculum research, school administration, and teacher education through study at the masters and doctoral levels. Research focuses on Hawaiian and Western culture and practices within the broader context of school and community development-the dual goal being the preparation of highly effective teachers and highly effective curricula for schools with large numbers of Hawaiian children.