Get to Know Kaho'iwai
Kaho’iwai is located in the town of Waimea on the Island of Hawai`i. The address is Hālau Ho'olako 64-1043 Hi'iaka Street (PO Box 6511) Kamuela, HI. 96743. Phone: 808-887-1117 Fax: 808-887-0030
During the 1990s, Native Hawaiian academics were developing their understanding of the needs of Native Hawaiians in education. Formal Native Hawaiian education research contributed to the development of the Kahoʻiwai Hawaiian Education Teacher Education program in the College of Education at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and is based on the importance of Native Hawaiians becoming teachers of their own children. This research included the expressed needs of Native Hawaiians who desired certification in teacher education programs within the State of Hawaiʻi. The research is published in Kō Mākou Mau Moʻolelo: Native Hawaiian Students in a Teacher Education Program (Hewett, 1998) via doctoral work at UH-Mānoa. The implications outlined in this dissertation are clearly influential in the subsequent program development and provided a foundation for the philosophical approach which followed. The focus on epistemology and Hawaiian values has been central in developing a clear articulation of the education process.
The major implications from the study led to recommendations for culturally relevant teacher education programs that are built on the central role of culture. The provision of support networks that understand and value difference, is embedded in the community it serves, and identifies strongly with the community, is important in this process. A shared common goal for participants being academic and cultural excellence. Lastly, it is important to honor Native Hawaiian culture including language and traditions (Hewett, 1998).
Kahoʻiwai literally means the return of the water. Metaphorically, it refers to the use of traditional approaches that provide the foundation for the program’s philosophy. It also refers to the use of ancestral knowledge and practices in the development of approaches to teaching and learning. Physically, Kahoʻiwai is a place in Mānoa valley near where the program was conceived. Today, Kahoÿiwai is community-based and designed to produce graduates that can teach effectively in Native Hawaiian-focused charter schools and other sites with numbers of Native Hawaiian children. The delivery method and structure of the program, including the selection of candidates, is designed to address the needs of members of the Hawaiian community as expressed through the Kahoʻiwai vision and mission statements.
The first Kahoʻiwai cohort began in 2002 as a bachelor program and all 20 students graduated in 2003. Accreditation was granted by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) in 2013 and a pilot program was delivered in 2014-2015. A successful grant application provided funding for four teacher cohorts commencing April 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018.
Kahoʻiwai has participants from seven of the populated islands in the State of Hawaiʻi. Participants are employed or connected to charter schools, conversion charters, DOE schools, private schools, bilingual, and language immersion schools. Kanu O Ka ‘Äina Learning ‘Ohana.is the hiapo, or older sibling, that provides organizational support via the supervision of the CEO and strategic direction through the Board. Today Kaho’iwai is a post-secondary division of Kanu O Ka ‘Äina Learning ‘Ohana accredited with WINHEC and recognized by the Hawaii Teacher Standards Board (HTSB).