Hawaiʻi high school legislative interns and nearly 100 students from the Hawaiʻi State Student Council will gather for a daylong Civic Education Summit on Wednesday, 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 Hawaiʻi at Mānoa 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 utilize the p4c (Philosophy for Children) inquiry methods developed at the university—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 demonstrated to me the vital role of the citizen, and the duty and right to involve oneself in democracy, ” said Carson Turner, a former Mililani High School legislative intern.
The p4c Hawaiʻi approach to education supports students as they work to integrate their experiences at the Legislature with foundational knowledge of our representative democracy.
For more on the UH Mānoa Uehiro Academy, visit the UH Mānoa news release.