Hawaiian Teaching Strategies

Nānā ka maka; hoʻolohe ka pepeiao; paʻa ka waha.
(Observe with the eyes; listen with the ears; shut the mouth.)
From ʻŌlelo Noʻeau, Hawaiian Proverbs and Poetical Sayings by Mary Kawena Pukui

How can understanding Native Hawaiian culture improve teaching and learning? The Ka Huakaʻi 2005 Native Hawaiian Educational Assessment showed significant gains among Native Hawaiian students in culture-based schools and teaching practices.

In this session, you will explore the values and traditions that make up the Native Hawaiian approach to learning. You will also examine teaching strategies that build on Native Hawaiian values and promote a positive attitude toward learning.


After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • identify Hawaiian traditions and values;
  • model the Native Hawaiian approach to learning; and
  • develop a portfolio of Hawaiian teaching strategies.
Diamond Head

Culture is not something to teach. Culture is the way in which we respond, think, believe, feel, act, and learn.


From Literate Lives: Teaching Reading and Writing in Elementary Classrooms by Amy Flint.