New Zealand Study Tour for Educators
PAAC and DOE News Release
Nineteen educators participated in the Malama Honua New Zealand Study Tour coordinated by the Pacific & Asian Affairs Council (PAAC) and the Hawaii State Department of Education. The 10-day spring-recess tour allowed participants to meet up with the Polynesian Voyaging Society crew during the New Zealand leg of the Worldwide Voyage of the Hokule`a and Hikianalia, and to build networks and relationships with New Zealand educators around issues of global and local importance.
Two Molokai educators participated, Uluhani Wai`ale`ale from Kualapu`u School and `Iolani Kuoha from Molokai Middle School.
Participants shared teaching approaches based upon place, projects, and culture. While learning about New Zealand literacy strategies, one of the Maui participants coined the phrase “literacy of the land,” which can be viewed as a pedagogical approach that allows knowledge of place and whenua (land) to be the foundation for learning. Using this lens works well with the philosophy of malama honua (caring for earth), which is the name of the Worldwide Voyage.
The Hawaii delegation was comprised of 16 public school teachers, an `Iolani School teacher, and two public school principals. The delegation had an idea to create student-to-student education exchanges via technology and travel, which is already bearing fruit: Molokai Middle School had five students go to New Zealand on May 2, and a librarian participant from Ke Kula Kaiapuni ‘o Ehuinuikaimalino will take 12 seniors to New Zealand during spring recess in 2016.
The study tour served as a powerful source of inspiration that is having positive impacts on the instructional practices of the teachers and their capacity to build networks and relationships with educators in Hawaii and beyond. It is part of a larger movement, catalyzed by the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage, to promote international understanding, connect people across borders, and inspire students and educators to create positive change for themselves, their communities, and the world. A 30-minute documentary film of the Malama Honua New Zealand Study Tour will be released this fall.
On behalf of the study tour participants, PAAC would like to thank the following businesses for their generous support of the study tour: The Atherton Foundation, The Equus Hotel, TLC PR, Bestours, Royal Hawaiian Shirtworks, Twin Islands Clothing, and Hawaiian Island Creations.