Uehiro at the Legislature
Hawai‘i High School Legislative Interns and nearly 100 students from the Hawai‘i State Student Council will gather for a daylong Civic Education Summit March 19 at the State Capitol. The students will explore legislative bills from the current session using a unique style of dialogue and inquiry developed by the University of Hawai‘i at the Uehiro Academy for Philosophy and Ethics in Education.
The High School Internship Program, co-sponsored by the Uehiro Academy, Department of Education and the Legislature, blends online and face-to-face civic curriculum with hands-on practical experiences in the legislative process. Students who participate in the program are paired with a legislator to observe, engage in, and analyze public policy-making.
The summit will bring the two high school groups together, and utilizing the p4c (Philosophy for Children) inquiry methods developed at the university, the students will generate philosophical questions about the bills, listen and dialogue with their peers, gain multiple perspectives on each bill, and work within small groups to explore possible answers.
“The summit represents the innovative and exiting new work being done with civics education in the state,” said Uehiro Academy’s Amber Makaiau, Legislative Internship Program Advisor.
“This experience was not only a learning opportunity about the legislative process,” said Carson Turner, a previous Mililani High School legislative intern, “but demonstrated to me the vital role of the citizen, and the duty and right to involve oneself in democracy.”
The p4c Hawai‘i approach to education supports students as they work to integrate their experiences at the Legislature with foundational knowledge of our representative democracy.
The UHM Uehiro Academy for Philosophy and Ethics is the home of philosophy for children Hawai‘i. Located in the College of Arts and Humanities, the Academy supports research and education related to the preparation, support and sustaining of educators, researchers, and students who are developing intellectually safe communities of philosophical inquiry in their classrooms and schools.
The Academy has a strong partnership with three model schools where there is a school-wide commitment to practicing a p4c Hawai‘i approach to education: Waikiki Elementary, Waimanalo Elementary and Intermediate, and Kailua High School.
The Academy is supported by the Uehiro Foundation on Ethics and Education, an independent Public Interest Corporation based in Tokyo.