Research indicates that children learn, connect, and retain knowledge more effectively when learning materials are culturally meaningful and relevant to their lives and experiences. Ke Kumu ‘Āina provides K-12 students and teachers the opportunity to learn and teach from their own ‘āina. In this way, ‘āina provides a more valuable context for learning, and community members serve as resources and partners in the process.
Ke Kumu ‘Āina is an environmental education program designed to Hawaii Department of Education standards and Nā Hopena A‘o (HĀ) outcomes. By basing the learning in ‘āina, Ke Kumu ‘Āina creates more optimal conditions for strengthening the six outcomes of HĀ (BREATH) in every student over the course of their K-12 journey.
HĀ – BREATH
Nā Hopena Aʻo
Lifelong Learner Outcomes with Connections to ʻĀina-Based Education
Strengthened Sense of Excellence
ʻAʻohe ʻulu e loaʻa i ka pōkole o ka lou
There is no success without preparation
I believe I can succeed in school and life and am inspired to care about the quality of my work. A sense of Excellence is demonstrated by a love of learning and the pursuit of skills, knowledge and behaviors to reach my potential. I am able to take intellectual risks and strive beyond what is expected.
Participation in community-focused stewardship activities through environmental restoration projects addressing relevant issues allow students to develop 21st century skills including critical thinking, communication, teamwork, and problem-solving while contributing to the well-being of both community and ʻāina.
Ke Kumu ʻĀina offers a variety of student and teacher programs and services year-round, including:
- Farm to Forest Program will be offered during the 2017–2018 and 2018–2019 school years to four middle schools in the moku of Kohala. At each school, two teachers and their classes will be supported to learn science in a meaningful way while contributing to the restoration of degraded landscapes in their watershed through the propagation, outplanting, and monitoring of native forest plants. We are currently recruiting schools and plan to launch this program in September.
- ʻĀina-Based Education Support for Teachers and Schools – We collaborate with teachers and schools interested in standards-based education through ʻāina and offer support with ʻāina-engagement (field) trips, classroom presentations, and teacher education programs.
- Intersession Programs give middle and high school students opportunities to learn through ʻāina during the fall, spring, and summer intersessions. Participants engage in scientific field research, learn to identify native plants, and explore the environments in which they grow. Based out of Waimea, students enjoy hands-on workshops and field trips from uka to kai in the Kohala Watershed.
- Leadership Program – We employ high school students interested in ʻāina-based education as Alakaʻi ʻŌpio (Youth Leaders) for our student programs. As a part of the position, students develop leadership capacity, supporting teaching staff with program logistics and even leading mini-workshops for middle school students.
Interested in more information or getting involved? Please contact our ʻāina-based education specialist, Mahina Patterson, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 808-887-6411.
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