Students will engage in rigorous, technology-rich, problem-solving learning that enables them to solve authentic community challenges and develop pathways to goals.
APPLIED LEARNING; DESIGN THINKING; PROJECT-BASED LEARNING; CREATIVITY
Innovating with People and Places
by Mathieu Williams, 2019 Hawaiʻi State Teacher of the Year, Kealakehe Intermediate School
Being the lead learner within my classroom the last seven years has taught me the motivating responsibility I have to spark intentional learning experiences and collaborations necessary for my students’ learning outcomes to go from good to great. Through constant reflection, observations, mentorship, and failures, I have come to learn that my innovation process has come down to three simple, key ideas: experience place, find one more partner, and let students lead.
When we actively choose to find ways for our students to experience place, through ‘āina-based education, authentic learning unfolds beyond anything we could have planned. Recently, my students and I had the opportunity of piloting a Virtual Field Trip (VFT) using 360 video to help students learn the significance of Makalawena, a culturally significant beach area here in Kona. My students thoroughly enjoyed having the opportunity to intentionally explore an area that they considered being just for recreation but discovered a deeper understanding to this historic site. As my student Kaninau so wonderfully put it when referring to ‘āina-based education, “I just think it allows me to connect personally to my background and my history, which will allow me to succeed in my school work, at home, or even how I treat or act with others.”
With the dynamic rate of information changing, it becomes impossible for educators to be the primary holder of knowledge, even within the area of their expertise. To stay relevant in our practices, mindsets, and knowledge, it becomes essential that we find one more partner as we learn with our students. It was Kamehameha Schools and Arizona State University (ASU) that provided the immersive VFT experience and Aunty Malani DeAguiar who taught my students the power of mo‘olelo (story), which became the inspiration for them to use media to tell other mo‘olelo. Learning partners, such as Kamehameha Schools and ASU are absolutely necessary for innovation to take place. These partners become our connectors of meaningful experiences and highlight what is and will be needed within the various global industries of our local communities.
Finally, and most importantly, innovation has a chance of existing and being successful when we actively choose to let students lead. The safe feeling we get when we take the lead and make learning linear is understandable. However, this approach fails to develop the type of creative and agile learner necessary for solving the global challenges facing our planet. If I hadn’t given my students the opportunity to choose where they would take their learning from the VFT, none of these outcomes (www.westhawaiistudents.org) would have ever happened. Our primary role as educators is to teach the process for learning how to learn, the mindsets (HĀ), and provide an active feedback and reflection loop for a quality product.
WORLD SURF LEAGUE ‘LEGACY’ PROJECT – Farrington High School’s Engineering Academy students unveiled their World Surf League (WSL) ‘legacy’ project to a group of lawmakers, HIDOE leaders, community partners and alumni. The mobile merchandise trailer, built from the ground up by more than 200 students, will be used by the WSL to sell t-shirts, stickers and other merchandise at surf meets.
An Innovative Twist on Academy Pathways
by Principal Sheldon Oshio, Waikele Elementary School & Krislyn Yano, Communications Branch
In March, Waikele Elementary School held its second annual academy pathway showcase, which proudly displayed the final projects of its academy pathway program. Final projects included architectural structures, engineered machines, bottle rockets, entrepreneurial brochures, paintings, knitted products, collages, self-portraits, and more.
Waikele Elementary is the only elementary school in Hawai‘i to fully integrate academy pathways into its school design. This design prepares students for college, careers and community with explorative learning experiences that spark and shape student passion.
The academy pathways include: arts and communication, health services, business, industrial and engineering technology, natural resources, and public and human services. Examples of the Waikele Elementary academy pathway classes include sewing, movie-making, nature art, basketball, nutrition, finance, STEM, coding, architecture, cooking, veterinary studies, and much more.
These learning experiences are made possible through the support and collaborative engagement of the Waikele and Waipahū communities. Community organizations like Waikele Center, Waikele Community Association, and the Waipahū Waikele Pet Hospital provide financial support to the program. To prepare students for their academy learning, an annual Career and College Fair takes place on campus, where parents, friends and community members are invited to share insight relating to various career pathways. Students from Waipahū Intermediate and Waipahū High also visit campus throughout the year to speak with students about future career academies and pathways.
Teachers help to develop academy class ideas based on their own personal interests or skill sets and are encouraged to reach out to the community for class enrichment. The academy’s Veterinary Studies class was created through the collaborative efforts of a teacher and the Waipahū Waikele Pet Hospital. Representatives from HawaiiUSA Federal Credit Union and Aloha Pacific FCU were also brought into the Money Awareness class to speak to students about financial literacy.
This intentional alignment to Hawai‘i’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) provides students with college and career-aligned learning experiences through elective courses typically reserved for secondary-level students. The classes offered are selected by students based on their own interests and aspirations. This unique, student-centered design, aligned to CTE career pathways/academies, also features multi-age classes, which provide equity and access to all students.
The integration of academy pathways into their School Design fully aligns with and supports the Waipahū Complex’s commitment to providing challenging and relevant educational opportunities to prepare all students for college and career success. It was established as a result of backwards map- ping from Waipahū High School’s college and career academy school design. Waikele Elementary students are now able to find what sparks their interest and can explore these curiosities further through this innovative program.
2019 KAMALI‘I ELEMENTARY SCHOOL — PROJECT-BASED LEARNING
How do you get students to take a leadership role in their own learning? See Kamali‘i Elementary’s approach to project-based learning.
Precision Data Analysis Guides Better Decisions
by The Office of Strategy, Innovation, and Performance
More educators and administrators are making use of an innovative suite of data tools that allows for in-depth performance analysis of students, classrooms, schools and complex areas—known as the Longitudinal Data System, or LDS. Managed by the Data Governance & Analysis (DGA) Branch in the Office of Strategy, Innovation and Performance, the LDS gives users the ability to compile and view student performance data from multiple sources in a single place with an unprecedented level of customization and precision.
Student data, such as attendance, behavior, test scores and grades, among others, can be used to highlight strengths and areas in need of improvement in classrooms and schools. Deeper dives can also be made to compare and cross-reference data types to show predictive trends and patterns to better inform decisions.
LDS training begins with a simple conversation about the unique qualities of a school, its students and community. “In order to support our schools, we need to know what their needs are,” said Jan Fukada, DGA director. “Through conversations, we focus in on high and low performing areas and use the LDS to provide customized data analysis that can support schools’ decision-making and actions.”
DGA has been working with educators to increase data use and to continually improve the quality of data, dashboards and the overall user experience, which has led LDS usage to quadruple over the past four years. Requests for training is also on the rise with over 100 conducted in the spring semester of 2019 alone.
“Partnerships, relationships and support are crucial to positive outcomes in this process,” said Fukada. “Feedback from educators about their experiences is crucial to making the LDS even better moving forward. We want to thank all of our users so far and we look forward to working with more schools so quality data can help to support better decisions ahead.”
Looking forward, the Hawai‘i State Department of Education (HIDOE) is creating the Longitudinal Education Information (LEI) system, a single, shared repository of validated data that will include all information in the current LDS, to improve data standardization and efficiency. The LEI system will further improve HIDOE’s ability to use data for decision making, research, and to support future innovation and improvements at schools. Data is empowerment!