On July 9th and 10th I attended the culture- based education conference held at the Hawai‘i Convention Center. To me this was one of the most rewarding experiences for both my personal and professional life.
Having just moved here from the mainland, I have never been given the opportunity to learn about the culture of Hawai‘i and it’s people through native Hawaiians in this kind of setting. I attended many breakout sessions where I was immersed in the Hawaiian language as well as heard stories from the past. The individuals who presented were very passionate about the topics they were discussing which in turn made me feel more connected to them and made me want to learn more!
The beginning presentation began with Dr. Eddie Kamae and his wife Myrna, filmmakers who have continued to keep the Hawaiian Legacy alive for decades through their documentaries. It was interesting to note that Uncle Eddie started this through music. Mele is an important piece of Hawaiian culture and was further discussed in the next breakout session I attended.
He Nane, He Mele, He Mo‘olelo was almost entirely spoken in Hawaiian and I was in awe. It was amazing to learn that the Hawaiian people still speak the language and use mele to tell stories through riddles and music even today.
My favorite breakout session from the two days was called “Kūpuna Wisdom”. During this session I had the pleasure of talking story with the Kūpunas and learned about traditions of the Hawaiian people.
In regard to my professional life at Kamehameha this conference has helped me to better connect with the work that I do and the people that it serves. Although I cannot speak the language, being able to see how the culture and history can still serve as a vehicle for learning will allow me to better understand and appreciate the content in my modules and courses.
In instructional design, knowing your audience or learners is an integral part of creating an effective training module or course. Having the opportunity to learn from native Hawaiians and the importance of incorporating the culture into the schools will help me as I create courses for the keiki. I have the power to continue spreading the knowledge of Hawai‘I, it’s people and traditions for the younger generations and that’s what makes my job very rewarding and more evident after attending this conference. Mahalo!