Monthly Archives: July 2012

Reflection – End of Summer

Today’s presentations “science fair style” felt very much like a networking cocktail party. I’m glad I decided to go with brochures. It forced me to distill my project down to one brochure. It also allowed me to give out some takeaways. I still don’t know how the brochure will help me, but I feel like I at least could talk to people about my project without being nervous. I am a little concerned about the amount of us needing mentors and advisors. There are a lot of doctoral students to go around and the logistics of it all is staggering. What I enjoyed this summer is the continuous time with my other cohort members. It allowed us to bond over projects so that we could keep each other afloat. I believe these ‘study groups’ will continue, although it may be difficult because we won’t see each other very often. I know we have a google doc to house our current proposal possibilities, but for those people who presented with us, we did not get to really look at and respond to their possible projects.


Changing the World – Small Steps

What do I want beyond the dissertation? Perhaps talking this out will give it momentum. At the least, it will point me in a certain direction in case I really do need to move on to plan A1, A2, A3 or B. I would like Alana to be a local site, a third house (separate from a university/school and separate from the teachers’ home school). I would like Alana to be a place not only for the summer course, but also a place for continuity activities like language courses, community culture events, continuity share outs, place-based classes, etc. I would like to grow teacher consultants that could run their own institutes. Mostly, I would like to work my way out of a job.  That is the kind of work I’d like to do. Is it sustainable work? That’s the challenge right now.

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Wanted: Critical Friends

How can I use social media to get feedback from the larger community? My readings of indigenous evaluation and developmental evaluation talk about needing input from the community in my project. What I’m looking for are more mentors and critical friends that can make sure that what I think the community needs is really what the community needs. Am I really creating an action research project that is needed or am I repeating something that is already being done?

I have decided to post my ideas on my blog, then post the blog link to twitter (hashtags: #edchat, #NWP, #indigenous, #KSFaculty) as well as Facebook. Based on the kinds of comments I have been getting, there is support for this project and for those people with concerns, I have been able to answer those questions.

I think the difference between action research dissertations and traditional dissertations is that the action research relies on community building and buy in by others. I can create this course, with all my logic models and literature reviews, however, I cannot present the course without teachers. Without my community of learners, I am missing the action part of action research.

At this point, should I be working on a Plan B or a Plan A1, A2 or A3?

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The AHA’s

I must separate my life work (building Alana as a CBE site, a third house in this kauhale – a symbiotic member of a larger community) with my dissertation work, which would be to measure the effectiveness of this introductory CBE summer institute. (Mahalo Susie for that insight)

I have the permissions so far from Walter Kahumoku and Scott De Sa. What that means is I have someone who can bring the moenahā training to us and a staff to work with, plus more talking it out. Other things I found out – Kilohana Hirano left KSH and is working for Walter and housed on the Big Island so I can tap into him.

AHAs from Makalapua – my cultural mentor:  some words to use in my program

honua – foundation – it is the foundation that is already present – the foundational work that is already done (Kanaʻiaupuni, Kahumoku, Kaiwi, NWP) plus what the participants and I bring to the project

moena – mats

kino – when the house is built

kauhale – cluster of houses, but still relationships with other houses (work, famiy, community, where every place is purposeful and every place has mana)  – the trick is to build the kino, but also to be a symbiotic part of the kauhale  –


mechanism – teachers  must desire to accept the invitation – how do we build the relationships in order to find the right teacher leaders who are willing? Need to rely on my building of relationships over the years.

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Collecting Data

Prompt: what ideas do you have about the kinds of data you would like to collect? How are you going to collect these data? What methodologies are you using? Why? Have you developed any ideas about how to manage and organize your data?

The kinds of data I want to collect, my manaʻo:

  • research journal for me to keep track of my own thinking, jot down timelines or reflections, shower “ahas,” relevant shifts in direction, etc. Questions from the journal could become prompts for the participants.
  • participant blog posts of their own learning throughout the course – housed on their own page in the research Ning – students and directors will also have opportunities to share and comment on other participants’ pages (the ning, being an online forum becomes the cloud warehouse for my data).
  • observation data – I already have observation data on methods and units that teachers use in their classroom before the PD,  so the observation data after the course would look at their use of CBE using Kanaʻiaupuniʻs Hawaiian Indigenous Education Rubric (appendix A) as well as Na Honua Mauli Ola. Another look for would be student engagement using protocols already established in our school.
  • moenahā unit plans – data provided by the participants and housed on the Ning as a way to organize and hold the information


More on organising data

The Ning is broken up into different parts:

  1. Groups there are subgroups that participants join as a “hale” for them to share content specific Hawaiian Pacific resources and opportunities with their colleagues (this would be contingent on getting funding). If it canʻt happen, then resources would go in the forum under the content area headings and participants would have kuleana to grow those resources
  2. Blogs would be used to collect reflections and feedback from participants as well as their own writings as a way to start to tell stories
  3. Videos, photos also go on the Ning as a way of recording this journey
  4. Forum are for having online conversations and discussions. This is also where participants would post their units, lessons and feedback to each other. The forum is also the place for members to ask questions
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The Birth of Alana

Transforming Content Area Curriculum through Hawaiian Epistemology and

Culture-Based Education Practices

            First, a bit of wandering before I get to my point. This idea is not new thinking for me, but more a way to try and solidify my nebulous visions into the realm of doable action. My engagement with my study needs to be political. It needs to be focused on the collapse of Dunbar’s idea of the center as the dominant culture’s way to control knowledge by creating the rules from the center for all others to follow. I want to be a part of the collapsing of the center and an emergence of indigenous or Hawaiian epistemology that nurtures other indigenous epistemologies until the center consists of collaborative, global, educational restructuring led by indigenous viewpoints. My audacity in being political comes from the groundbreaking work of giants, my contemporaries, who continue to be unapologetic and passionate in their own life work.

I am interested in weaving Dr. Shawn Kanaiaupuni’s work with culture-based education, Dr. Walter Kahumoku and Keiki Kawaiaea’s work with moenahā, a culture-based curriculum design format, and Ka’imipono Kaiwi’s work with grounding the English/language arts curriculum through an indigenous lens into a professional development course to help teachers transform their content area curriculum. The course would be modeled around the National Writing Project model of teachers teaching teachers with the scholarly focus on CBE rather than the teaching of writing.

For the course, the teachers would have common readings as well as training on moenahā. They would also have writing, curriculum planning and coaching time within class. The instructors would model CBE lessons and teachers would work on a demonstration lesson (geared for their content and grade level) that they try with the cohort for feedback and reflection. In the fall, they would try out their moenahā curriculum and incorporate CBE practices as part of their creating an environment for learning. They would collect their evidence (units, lessons, photos, student work, etc.) into their CBE learning portfolio and that along with teacher observation notes and focus group interviews is what I’m planning to collect and analyze.

For my research, I would use my teachers at KS Hawaii for assistance with curriculum ideas and as participants in the PD course. The reason why I want to use my own staff is that when we try to talk about our working exit outcomes for KS, I quickly see the non-Hawaiian language and non-Hawaiian studies teachers disengage because they don’t see themselves in the process of creating students that embrace a Hawaiian world view.  In reality, creating 21st century learners with a Hawaiian world view is all of our kuleana. What I want to answer with this research is if this form of PD can empower teachers to transform their own curriculum and practices through a Hawaiian worldview, and what impact does that make on student lear

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Random Thoughts

It helps to talk out my proposal with someone else. I think the more I talk about it, the more pa’a my ideas become. Rather than talk about it again, I’ll look at the ethics and influence questions on page 75 of McNiff and Whitehead to study closely by pulling back and looking critically at myself.

I see other people as both ‘It’ and ‘Thou,’ pulling from our identity class, they are both/and rather than either/or. I see it more as a web of connections or a Prezi presentation. Zoomed out to the farthest, it is a web of connections where every branch is equal, but zoomed in, there is a different view of those connections and influences with some items bolded and other things more reliant on those larger pieces (or people). As far as how I view the world I am in, I am both in and out, participant and observer. I need to embrace the oxymoron, and the dichotomous nature of my reality. For me it is embracing Friere’s love and rage without which there is no hope.

Do I see myself as the center? As an only child, I always see myself as the center, and as a teacher, I always taught from the center, but only because I don’t teach from the front. I don’t like being in the center, but even in my leadership philosophy paper, I talk about leading from the center. I am not the center of the universe or the micro manager from the center. The world does not revolve around me. However, I do see myself as the center in that I see myself as the source of gravitational pull through which I allow other people to help me by keeping them captive.

Ok, switch topic. Got a new directive from Ruth. Key questions: What am I going to do and with whom? I am going to blend current research together in order to create professional development for my content area teachers that incorporates culture based educational classroom practices with the moenaha unit planning framework and content-specific CBE transformational curriculum examples to grow CBE teachers who can be leaders in the CBE field and in their own field. Or I can at least hope. For my action research study, I want to create the curriculum, test it out and evaluate its effectiveness in changing curriculum. The whom is in journal 2. I’m sure I can add more people on just in case. Like Sanjeev says, people are key.

What improvements in practice do  you hope to accomplish? – I kind of went over my hope – world domination by indigenous educators. No, seriously, a model of culture based education that incorporates our best thinking so far and melds it into one training. I hope that when we at Kamehameha bring out our culturally rich working exit outcomes to staffs, I don’t see the non-Hawaiian language and non-Hawaiian studies secondary teachers shut their brains off as a “not going to listen, not my problem” defense system. I hope that the math and social studies, and orchestra, etc. teachers help me to prove that CBE is not just an additive process, but that it can be transformative.


How do you propose to demonstrate the effectiveness of your actions? – My action research will study teachers’ action research, so the effectiveness of my curriculum will be in the ability of the teachers to take this back to the classroom, change up their own teaching and show student growth. How? IDK. They would need to show a use of the three things: increased CBE practices in their classrooms, units written in the moenaha framework and meaningful changes in their use of CBE pieces within their curriculum.

Timeline – Fall and spring SY 2012-2013 – get the big wigs to give their blessing (Walter, Shawn, Kaimi, Keiki), get my content leads in place, my supervisor, share my vision to my broad group of “critical friends” and “stakeholders” to try and pull them into my gravitational field. With their help create an initial plan for the curriculum and work on my permissions. Going to Denver in July will help with the process because I can ask questions from Denver administrators who have created a professional development unit “program” for their teachers. That’s the model I want to use in order to do my action research on their action research and evaluate the effectiveness (or non-) of my curriculum. Field testing or trying out the training/course (not sure at this point which it would be) needs to be worked out by summer 2013 (how will I offer it, who will help me teach it, will I even be one of the teachers, who will we offer it to, for what kind of credit, what are the deliverables and timelines for the teachers) If I’m really good, I would offer it in the summer of 2013 with their action research taking place in the fall and my analysis taking place in the spring of 2014.


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Kokua, Kakoʻo

The conversation with Paris today was profound in that I was able to readjust my lens, grieve for the identity picture that was no longer relevant and move on in a way that keeps me passionate about my work and does not force me to compromise just so that I can “get it done.”

I am still interested in melding the research of  Shawn Kanaiaupuni and her team who look at culture based practices (lawena, behavior as well as management) within the DOE schools, Walter Kahumoku and his team as they take Keiki’s work and bring a Hawaiian framework (moenaha) into curriculum planning, and Kaimi Kaiwi’s work in bringing literature of Oceania into the English/language arts classroom as a lens through which to view canonical western literature.  Thanks to Paris, I now see that the possibility within my work is to create PD curriculum that merges the three and use my other content area staff on site as a collaborative, action research experiment in creating pedagogy-transforming, culture-based curriculum using the educational delivery “best practices” that work with our local students across all content areas with an emphasis on non-Hawaiian studies and non- olelo Hawaii classes. The evaluation class would allow me the tools to create an evaluation component into the PD ahead of time.

Besides getting Shawn, Walter and Kaimi on board as mentors, I’d rely on my critical friend, supervisor and former curriculum specialist to share my vision so that I could get the work done with our staff. I’d also rely on my content area leads, Dan Demattos and Elaine Hara, math specialists; Kyle Kaaa, Roddy Floro, Ron Englund and Kalei Chang, science; Alohi Ae’a, Kapua Helm, Celeste Volivar-Fry, language arts; Aulii Nahulu Kirsch, Tana Rosehill, art; Kimo Kekua, Herb Mahelona, Willie Harris, Pii Kaawaloa, Eric Stack, performing arts; Uluhane Waialeale, Kerry Kamisato, Ellen Cordeiro, technology; Clint Alexander, Cary Masuko, Nelson Wong, PE/Health; Kainoa Bowman, Melelani Spencer, Jerelyn Makanui-Yoshida, Amy Kaawaloa, Ipolani Wright, social studies; Leinani Baker, Kilohana Hirano, Kaulu Gapero, Hannah Pau, culture and language mentors – I have a team, and I know there are more people that I will definitely tap into. The ulu is ripe, the opelu are running, the time to get dirty is now

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Current Thinking

My current thinking about my dissertation topic – I want it to be professionally relevant in the idea of educational transformation. The impracticality of it has to do with the work within the context of my current job. What makes it difficult is that I have no clear descriptor for my job and I’m probably floating into a different position for next school year anyway. This will be my third year in a temporary position that allows me time to do my doctoral work while still serving my campus on a special project headed by Sylvia Hussey, VP of administration and Ka Pi’ina program queen. When people ask me what I am, I say I’m a teacher. What I currently do is more like human resources, instructional coach for teachers to navigate their way through different educational initiatives, professional development counselor, proposal writer, Ka Pi’ina trainer, IT resource teacher, note taker, in-service planner, and team member for the leadership, technology and nohona Hawai’i teams. Do I want to do research within any of those multiple roles? Is that what I want my continued life work to focus on? No. But I need to be both practical and idealistic, with the lean toward practical. Is that the identity that I am willing to embrace in order to get the job done? It would be a bitter pill, so my current thinking is to continue to go big or go home.

My engagement with my study needs to be political. It needs to be focused on the collapse of Dunbar’s idea of the center as the dominant culture’s way to control research by creating the rules from the center for all others to follow. I want to be a part of the collapsing of the center and an emergence of indigenous or Hawaiian epistemology that nurtures other indigenous epistemologies until the center consists of collaborative, global educational restructuring led by indigenous viewpoints. My positionality would depend on which project I’m thinking about. If it’s the charter school narratives of their defined successes, then I’m the outsider in collaboration with the insiders. If it’s the fusion of current culture-based educational best practices, pedagogy and curriculum into the English/language arts classroom, then I am the insider reflecting from the inside.  However, both of these options do not fit into my current job. If each class were in a regular semester, then I would have a week to ponder. Instead, I have a day, and so I stay where I’m most passionate – in the dream state rather than the reality state. Big picture, not microscopic close reading.

My current thinking comes back to professional relevancy. Professional relevancy to me has to do with socialist notions (Friere). It’s too large and nebulous. How do I make it manageable AND meaningful, especially if it’s not related to my work now? Is this transformation for my current job? No, I think this work should continue beyond this dissertation as my future scholarship. I am still in the wilderness.