During the 1990s, Native Hawaiian academics were developing their understanding of the needs of Native Hawaiians in education. Formal Native Hawaiian education research contributed to the development of the Kahoʻiwai Teacher Education program and is based on the importance of Native Hawaiians becoming teachers of their own children. This research, published in Kō Mākou Mau Moʻolelo: Native Hawaiian Students in a Teacher Education Program (Hewett, 1998), included the expressed needs of Native Hawaiians who desired a values-aligned teacher certification program in the State of Hawaiʻi. The implications outlined in this dissertation are influential in the subsequent program development and provided a foundation for the philosophical approach which followed. Additional research regarding the ideological system and imperative connection to the land has further validated Hewett specifically as outlined in Phenomenology and Meaning: Äina in Teaching and Learning (Fraser, 2019). The focus on epistemology and Hawaiian values has been central in developing a clear articulation of the education process.
The significant implications from the study led to recommendations for culturally relevant teacher education programs that built on the central role of culture. The first recommendation is to include a provision of support networks that understand and value difference and are embedded and identify strongly with the community it serves. The second recommendation is to include a common shared goal for participants: academic and cultural excellence. Lastly, it is essential to honor Native Hawaiian culture, including language, traditions, and land (Fraser, 2019).
Kahoʻiwai means the return of the water. Metaphorically, it refers to the use of traditional approaches that provide the foundation for the program’s philosophy. It also refers to the use of ancestral knowledge and practices in developing methods of teaching and learning. Physically, Kahoʻiwai is an ʻili kūpono or land portion within the ahapua’a of Mānoa. Today, Kaho’iwai is community-based and designed to produce graduates that can teach effectively in Native Hawaiian-focused charter schools and other sites with numbers of Native Hawaiian children. The delivery method and structure of the program, including selecting candidates, is designed to address the needs of members of the Hawaiian community as expressed through the Kahoʻiwai vision and mission statements.
In 2013, Kahoiwai became accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC). It is a State Approved Teacher Education Program (SATEP). Kahoʻiwai has participants from seven of the populated islands in Hawaiʻi. Participants are employed or connected to charter schools, conversion charters, DOE schools, private schools, bilingual and language immersion schools. Today Kaho’iwai is a post-secondary program accredited with the World Indigenous Higher Education Consortium (WINHEC) and authorized by the Hawai’i Teacher Standards Board (HTSB).
Our Mission & core values
Empowering post-secondary students through hybrid educational experiences grounded in Hawaiian knowledges and values.
Kaho’iwai is a Hawai’i State Education Program Provider (EPP) and is accredited by the World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Network (WINHEC). Kaho’iwai has successfully completed a WINHEC Accreditation Review in accordance with the WINHEC Accreditation Authority Standards. The audit was carried out by an international review team in June 7-9, 2018 as authorized by the WINHEC Board. The accreditation approval is valid for ten years from 8.21.2018 to 8.21.2028.
Kaho’iwai is also accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). The accreditation term is from June 2022 through June 2025. The Kaho‘iwai data disclosure form can be accessed through the link below.