College of Education receives $100K funding for social justice in education

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Jennifer L Parks, (808) 956-0416
Comm Coord, College of Education
Posted: Dec 6, 2018

A UH partnership launches a new initiative to advance social justice education
A UH partnership launches a new initiative to advance social justice education

The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa College of Education (COE) and the Hanahauʻoli School Professional Development Center (PDC) are launching a new initiative to advance social justice education. COE professors Amber Strong Makaiau and Patricia Halagao are leading the three-year, $100,000 Social Justice in Education project aimed at training local educators to teach children to be active participants in a diverse democracy.

The project will offer PDC coursework to both public and private school educators throughout the state and at the same time carry out the COE’s mission of “preparing educators and professionals at all levels to contribute to a just, diverse and democratic society while developing a sense of purpose and sense of place.”      

“We are honored to be a part of this important project that embodies the type of community solidarity that is necessary for supporting teachers and schools as they work to educate children and youth to be active participants in a diverse democracy,” Makaiau said.             

The initiative is a collaboration with the nationally-renowned Teaching Tolerance program, and funded by Jana and Howard Wolff, longtime supporters of the organization.

The program uses Teaching Tolerance materials where participating teachers explore the theory and research around specific practices and make connections to local social justice organizations. Makaiau and Halagao will create a social justice curriculum that utilizes local resources and reflects Hawai‘i’s diverse population, including multicultural, indigenous, Asian and Pacific-Island perspectives.

Social Justice in Education will also provide professional development workshops focused on early childhood and social justice education. The Hanahauʻoli PDC and COE will enlist local organizations to host guest scholars who examine critical contemporary issues. These visiting scholars will speak to a wide cross-section of the community through workshops, speaking engagements in preK–12 schools and public lectures and projects at UH.