College of Education receives first place in national publications competition

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Jennifer Beaulieu, 956-4388
College of Education
Posted: Oct 10, 2007

Morris Lai, Hugh Dunn, and Mark Yap of UH Mānoaʻs College of Education Curriculum Research & Development Group received first place in the School Evaluation and Program Development Division‘s outstanding publications competition at the annual American Educational Research Association (AERA) meeting in Chicago in April. They produced a DVD, entitled A Moʻolelo Evaluation of Pihana Nā Mamo, which focuses on alternative techniques for report planning, research, evaluation, and assessment activities.

The team chose a storytelling approach as it is more culturally appropriate than a written evaluation report. "Pihana Nā Mamo uses traditional Hawaiian culture to enhance the education of today‘s Native Hawaiian children who are among the most at risk in areas such as education, crime, teen pregnancy, and health," Lai said.

Pihana Nā Mamo: the Native Hawaiian Special Education project is funded by the U.S. Department of Education and has been a joint project with the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education since 2000. Its mission is the delivery of educational services to children and youth of Hawaiian ancestry, especially those with special needs and at-risk, that results in improved outcomes. "The project was actually named by former College of Education staff, the late Alexander Poki Kali," Lai said. The translation of Pihana Nā Mamo is "gathering of special children."

Aside from technical quality, category standards included innovativeness in presentation and clarity for the intended audience. "The video of the evaluation does not go against the grain of what evaluators look for in a more traditional written report," Dunn said. "We wove quantitative date in with qualitative data throughout, keeping our audience in mind."