During the Spring of 2022 Engaging the Senses Foundation and Mālama Honua Public Charter School partnered to develop The Learning of Everything, an arts-integrated pilot program to augment and amplify the school’s mission, vision and promise.
The Learning of Everything is being imagined to dovetail with Mālama Honua PCS’s project-based learning to infuse students with the ‘mind of the navigator’ as birthed from the Mālama Honua World-Wide Voyage of Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia in 2014, a proud Hawaiian focused community charter school dedicated to serving Waimānalo, O‘ahu. The school provides a rigorous learning environment guided by the Hawaiian cultural values that are shared with its educational partner, Polynesian Voyaging Society and other Ko‘olau organizations. Mālama Honua PCS utilizes waʻa and the legacy of Polynesian voyaging as its foundation and compass – to build cultural and curriculum sail-plan called upon to navigate through life both on and off the water.
The inspiration for this pilot program is sparked from the art of storytelling as exemplified by the work of Hawai‘i Poet Laureate, Kealoha, and his magnum opus The Story of Everything. The content of this work spans the knowledge of known cosmic and human existence through various sciences expressed through a blend of western and indigenous visual art, music, dance, chanting, singing, and poetry.
The subject matter and contentwere chosen by Mālama Honua PCS Kumu (teachers), and the topics centered on building a shared set of foundational values, caring for our island earth and cultivating the “mind of the navigator.” Each grade level was granted time to incorporate an Arts Kumu and class into their weekly schedule, with the purpose of creating art that expressed their understanding of the content they were studying in their academic focus.
Grade Levels Curriculum with Arts Integration: • Papa Hōkū (Kindergarten): Marine Biology Drama – Jonathan Sypert • Papa Mahina (1st/2nd): Ecosystems: Mauka to Makai, Mountain to Ocean Loom Creation and Weaving – Pekuna Hong • Papa Makani (3rd/4th): The Importance of Wai (water) Dramatic Imagery and Movement – Jonathan Sypert • Papa ‘Elima (5th): 5th Grade Defense Drama – Jonathan Sypert • Papa ‘Eono (6th): ‘Ike of Wa‘a (wisdom of canoes) and Voyaging Drama – Jonathan Sypert Stamps – Pekuna Hong • Papa ‘Ehiku (7th) – History of Hawaiian Kingdom Block-printing – Pekuna Hong • Papa ‘Ewalu (8th) – Lifelong ʻĀina (Land) Relationship Drawing/stamp building/kīhei printing – Pekuna Hong
This pilot is an example of the ekphrastic arts integrated exploration (through partnership with Engaging the Senses Foundation and Mālama Honua Public Charter School) that will be expanded year-round starting in the upcoming 22/23 academic year,“to provide an education that cultivates the caring, compassionate, and astute ‘mind of the navigator’ in students and teachers alike by the appropriate application of indigenous Hawaiian values, inclusive of 21st-century skills.”
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We envision this program serving as a stewardship model centering and honoring the power of indigenous worldviews, protocols, methodologies and technologies specific to place, globally.
Stay tuned for future developments featured on Polynesian Voyaging Society’s virtual education portal, Wa‘a Honua designed to accompany the upcoming Moananuiākea voyage, 2023 – 2027.
Mālama Honua Public Charter School:
MISSION To provide an education that cultivates the caring, compassionate, and astute “mind of the navigator” in students and teachers alike by the appropriate application of indigenous Hawaiian values, inclusive of 21st century skills.
VISION One day, students will possess the mind, values, capacities and empowerment to fulfill their potential and positively impact society’s most pressing social and environmental challenges.
PROMISE The school will be a sacred place. It will be a safe place where all are accepted and affirmed – both as learners and people. It will be a place that honors culture, invites the critical exploration of knowledge and heartens a culture of compassion.