Our Hawaiian Studies curriculum is designed to inspire young learners to develop a deepened appreciation for their island home. As residents of Hawai‘i, our lives are interdependent, and we rely on one another to maintain our quality of life.
Hawaiians of old contended with many of the same challenges we face today: conserving natural resources, responding to limits, tolerating differences, and adapting to rapid change. We believe that when students examine the development of traditional Hawaiian society and attempt to understand its inherent values, they will be better able to make informed choices in their own lives that ultimately will improve the quality of life for all Hawai‘i’s people.
Many areas of inquiry comprise our Hawaiian Studies curriculum. These include Origins and Migrations, Geology and Geography, Natural Resources, Ways of Life, Religious Beliefs and Practices, Language, Music and Poetry, Political History and Structure, and Cultural Influences.
A cornerstone of Hawaiian Studies at WCS is our annual May Day Celebration. Students in all classes participate, learning hula and chants with our kumu hula. Students learn the meaning of the dances and songs, putting their performance in a cultural context that builds relevance and meaning. Students also learn about places and plants of our island, often contributing to the making of attire for the show. Our program is based on a deep appreciation and respect for Hawaiian culture, which is to be understood and valued.
Our program also parallels our Character Education Program by examining monthly values from a Hawaiian perspective.
The values we discuss during the first year of a 2-year cycle are:
- Olakino Maika‘i
In the second year, students learn about:
- Mālama ‘Āina
- Environmental Awareness
We believe that frequent discussion of these universal values as expressed within the context of the Hawaiian world view can have a positive impact in our classrooms by nurturing a consistent tone of moral awareness throughout the school.