Welcome to the Kūlia i Ka Nu‘u website

UH logoKūlia i Ka Nu‘u, a project funded by the Native Hawaiian Education Act, is housed in the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa's Curriculum Studies Department. The project is dedicated to preparing teachers to be knowledgeable in strategies that support Native Hawaiian students' success in science and related STEM fields where they are underrepresented. It intends to achieve this goal through by providing teachers with 1) place and culture-based knowledge and skills leading to teacher developed curriculum products, 2) opportunities to participate in authentic science learning communities, and 3) co-instruction by Site Teachers with exemplary sites and programs.

college of education logoKūlia i Ka Nu‘u provides professional development through EDCS 433 Interdisciplinary Science Curriculum, Mālama I Ka ‘Āina, Sustainability, and EDCS 450 Materials and Methods. Each 3 credit course provides content and strategies that teachers will employ to develop, deliver, and assess culturally responsive, place and standards-based curricula connected to their Native Hawaiian students' lives and communities. The structure and standards-based assignments of the year-long courses engage teachers in collaborative, comprehensive efforts to improve students' learning. Starting in the Summer of 2010, students of EDCS 433 and EDCS 450, have been exploring various sites on O‘ahu. Check out our photo gallery, video gallery, and publications to learn more about us.


‘Ike kū‘oko‘a Project


40 days and 40 nights

Surfing Medicine International, in association with Pikoi Ke Kaula Kualena, has created a short documentary that investigates the response and conflicts by government officials regarding a lack of on-site warning systems during federal guideline exceedances of fecal bacteria concentrations in Waikiki surface waters polluted with human and animal feces. This film compares and contrasts claims made by the State of Hawaii Department of Health over the last few decades regarding natural versus human and animal sources of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's recommended fecal bacteria indicatorEnterococcus in surface waters of tropical islands, with a focus on the response related to the 2006 sewage spill during 40 days and 40 nights of rain.

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EDCS 433/450 course announcement

Hawaiian practices, sayings, chants, and stories are sources for science learning.  The saying Hahai no ka ua i ka ululā‘au; Rains always follow the forest (Pukui, 1983) recognizes that mists condense on trees and enter the groundwater. Thus Hawaiians protected forests that preserved the watershed.  We apply curriculum-mapping strategies to write, teach, and assess hands-on, standards-based lessons connected to students’ cultures, places, and issues.  Our goal is to increase student engagement, interest, and success in science. We plan to collaborate with the Polynesian Voyaging Society on lessons oriented to sustainability.

EDCS 433 and 450 will enable you to:

  1. Use course activities to write, teach, and assess Hawaii-focused, inquiry lessons.
  2. Connect real issues to lessons oriented to sustainable communities and ecosystems.
  3. Include community resources in lessons characterized by rigor, relevance, relationships, and responsibility.

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A fond farewell...

Isabella AbbottDr. Isabella "Izzie" Kauakea Aiona Abbott
June 20, 1919 - October 28, 2010

Dr. Abbott guided many of us and helped shape a new vision of science research and science education with a uniquely Hawaiian perspective. She was born on Maui and once hosted the Kūlia team at her apartment at Mā‘alaea, Maui overlooking a transect from which her husband, an invertebrate zoologist, brought back sea urchins so she could study seaweeds they'd eaten. Her love and work was marine biology but she got dreadfully seasick and seldom went into or on the water.

Isabella AbbottThis spring she helped the Kūlia team write a chapter on Hawaiian inquiry and gave it the title: Ua Lele Ka Manu, The Bird has Flown. She said her mother would say this as she searched for something that might actually be there, unnoticed. It became an exploration for a way of thinking about inquiry from a Hawaiian perspective that we could bring to education. You see it in the emphasis on place-based inquiry, connection to culture, learning through doing, and caring for the land. It will be published soon and will be posted here on this website.

Lets continue to carry out her request in our families and with our students:
We Hawaiian have mostly lost our once-great talent for the oral transmission of culture, so if stories of the old ways still reside in your family, search them out and treasure them and make sure they are preserved in written form.
- Isabella Kauakea Aiona Abbott, La‘au Hawai‘i: Traditional Hawaiian Uses of Plants, Preface.

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