The first cohort of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa College of Education Pacific Master’s in Education (PACMED) program graduated in the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI).
PACMED, in the Department of Curriculum Studies, focuses on culturally-responsive, Pacific, placed-based STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) subjects.
Professors Paul Deering and Deborah Zuercher and colleagues digitally deliver PACMED’s curriculum to students across the Hawaiian Islands, American Samoa and RMI.
“Pacific leaders are needed to solve Pacific problems,” said Zuercher. “PACMED builds on indigenous knowledge of place and culture when addressing emerging problems such as sea-level rising, health, illegal fishing, food security and sovereignty.”
The graduating cohort of 17 Marshallese students included classroom teachers as well as high-ranking administrators and brings the program’s combined total to approximately 300 graduates.
PACMED is a two-year program focused on the nine RMI Public School Standards for Teachers, plus a tenth standard focused on place-based STEAM teaching. During the semester, courses are delivered in a live online classroom, while summer classes are in-person and hands-on. Topics include marine science, organic gardening, computers, robotics, ethnomathematics, as well as traditional cultural practices, such as weaving, fishing, canoe building and navigation.