$1.35M Uehiro Foundation gift funds philosophy and ethics in education

UH’s Thomas Jackson encouraging inquiring minds
UH’s Thomas Jackson encouraging inquiring minds

The Uehiro Foundation on Ethics and Education has pledged $1.35 million to support the University of Hawaiʻi Uehiro Academy for Philosophy and Ethics in Education. This builds on their 2012 gift of $1.25 million which established the academy.

Located in the College of Arts and Humanities, the academy is the home of philosophy for children Hawaiʻi (p4c Hawaiʻi). p4c Hawaiʻi is an innovative approach to education that is transforming the schooling experience by engaging people in the activity of philosophy. The p4c Hawaiʻi approach helps students and teachers convert traditional classrooms into intellectually safe communities of inquiry. Together, they develop their ability to think for themselves in responsible ways by exploring “big questions” that arise from their interests, experiences, and learning contexts.

“As a foundation committed to the happiness and well-being of children around the world, we are grateful to the University of Hawaiʻi for its ongoing work promoting philosophy and ethics in classrooms,” said Goro Takaguchi, Uehiro Foundation managing director. “We are inspired by the impact the Uehiro Academy has made so far, and excited about our continued partnership.”

Since 2012, funding from the Uehiro Foundation has helped to support interdisciplinary collaboration between the College of Arts and Humanities and College of Education.

Collaboration results include:

  • Hundreds of College of Education teacher candidates have successfully completed an introduction to p4c Hawai‘i course (PHIL 492) and are now using the approach in their professional teaching practice.
  • Four p4cHI model schools and additional partner schools have developed as sites for College of Education teacher education programs, including p4c Hawaiʻi teacher professional development and research. The model schools are: Waikīkī Elementary, Ka‘elepulu Elementary, Waimānalo Elementary and Intermediate and Kailua High School.
  • The creation of a p4c Hawaiʻi College of Education endorsed certificate, which is helping to meet the growing demand for local, national, and international p4cHI practitioners by creating an institutional pathway for developing, verifying and officially recognizing the quality of those practitioners.
  • For more collaboration information, go the the University of Hawaiʻi Foundation news release.

“The master teachers and researchers in the Uehiro Academy have established innovative and exciting programs in Hawaiʻi schools that have become models for both U.S. and international educational leaders,” said College of Arts and Humanities Dean Peter Arnade. “Through the generosity of the Uehiro Foundation, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa has become the gold standard of philosophy for children in the schools.”

College of Education Dean Donald Young added, “Through our partnership and collaboration with Uehiro Academy, the College of Education has incorporated p4c in all our teacher preparation programs. The p4c philosophy and strategies prepare our teacher candidates with highly effective insights and abilities to reach all children in their classrooms and communities. Thanks to Uehiro Academy we are able to improve practice and graduate highly capable teachers.”

For the full story, read the University of Hawaiʻi Foundation news release.