Catalog 2017–2018: M.A. in Indigenous Language and Culture Education

This is content from the Catalog 2017–2018 back issue. Please visit the current catalog for current information.

Coordinator: Makalapua Alencastre , Ed.D.


Note: This program is also assisted by other faculty drawn from Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language and by scholars with a national and international reputation in indigenous language and culture education from outside the college.

For Information Contact:

Ku'ulei Kepa'a Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelilkōlani
University of Hawai'i at Hilo
200 W. Kāwili Street
Hilo, Hawai'i 96720-4091
Tel: (808) 932-7730


Program Description

The Master of Arts in Indigenous Language and Culture Education is designed for indigenous language and culture education practitioners such as teachers, administrators, and culture resource specialists. The college’s Kahuawaiola Indigenous Teacher Education Program, Hale Kuamoʻo Center for Hawaiian Language, P-12 laboratory school, baccalaureate, and graduate Hawaiian medium education programs and its consortium with the ‘Aha Pūnana Leo provide unique and valuable resources for understanding indigenous language and culture education.

The M.A. program in Indigenous Language and Culture Education currently offers only a Plan B practicing track, which requires students to be fluent in Hawaiian language and to simultaneously pursue the Kahuawaiola Indigenous Teacher’s Education Certificate. Hawaiian language use in the majority of Practicing Track courses provides students with the tools to deliver indigenous language and culture education at a high level. In the future, when the faculty is larger, the college intends to open a monitoring indigenous education track that will be open to students focusing on other indigenous languages.

Students accepted into the master’s program must have met requirements for study and fluency in the Hawaiian language and culture, which will be their point of reference throughout the program.


The mission of the M.A. program in Hawaiian and Indigenous Language and Culture Education is to prepare indigenous educators as reflective practitioners and researchers, who are prepared to promote the further development of indigenous culture-based education.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Apply pedagogy appropriate to mauli ola / indigenous language medium and culture-based education.
  2. Describe, use and provide rationale of indigenous pedagogy and dispositions within P-12 classrooms.
  3. Communicate effectively in both academic and indigenous community environments.
  4. Access, analyze and reflect on indigenous knowledge, practices, literature and research findings.
  5. Design and conduct culturally appropriate, rigorous and ethical research that is responsive to issues inherent in indigenous language medium and culture-based education.
  6. Analyze global trends and perspectives that affect the implementation of indigenous language and culture education.

Admission Requirements for the Practicing Track (Plan B, non-thesis)

  1. Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum 3.0 grade point average in an approved field of study, e.g., Indigenous Studies, Ethnic Studies, Education, Languages (including English), etc.;
  2. Three letters of recommendation at least one of which must focus on the applicant’s background in the Hawaiian language and culture and service to the Hawaiian community;
  3. Grade point average of 3.0 or better in the last 60 credits of coursework taken (including coursework taken after the bachelor's degree);
  4. 30 credits of study in Hawaiian language or a program approved combination of Hawaiian language and a metropolitan language, Anthropology or Linguistics with no grade lower than a “B” and a 3.0 average;
  5. 9 credits of study in the Hawaiian culture or a program approved combination of Hawaiian culture and related social science courses such as Anthropology and Sociology with no grade lower than a “B” and a 3.0 average;
  6. Teaching experience, either paid or volunteer;
  7. Complete taped interview either in person or by telephone;
  8. Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores;
  9. In the case of second language speakers of English, passing scores on the TOFEL as determined by the College or other evidence of English fluency.
  10. Prior completion of the Kahuawaiola Indigenous Teacher Education Program or prior completion of any other teacher education program accredited in the State of Hawaiʻi1 and successful completion of KHAW/HAW 490 Base-level Fluency Hawn Med Ed (1) .

1 For those who have completed a different teacher education program accredited by the State of Hawai‘i, achievement of high level scores on the Kahuawaiola teaching performance evaluation (to be administered by the M.A. program faculty).

Further information on the details of fulfilling admission requirements are available from the program. The College may, under some circumstances, provisionally accept students to the program.

Graduation Requirements

Practicing Indigenous Education Track (Non-thesis) (31 credits)

  1. Group specific indigenous language medium education (13):
    • KED 620 Foundations for Hawn Medium Ed (3)
    • KED 621 Lang Arts in Hawn Medium Educ (2)
    • KED 623 Social Studies Hawn Medium Ed (2)
    • KED 625 Phys Ed in Hawn Medium Ed (1)
    • KED 626 Science in Hawn Med Education (2)
    • KED 627 Math in Hawn Medium Education (2)
    • KED 628 Arts in Hawaiian Medium Educ (1)
  2. Field study (6):
    • KED 642 Hawaiian Med Fld Exp I Seminar (3)
    • KED 644 Hawaiian Med Fld Exp II Sem (3)
  3. KED 630 Res Meth in Indigenous Lang (3)
  4. KED 693 Applied Rsrch in Indigenous Ed (3)
  5. Appropriate 600-level education, multilingual societies or linguistics electives taken from any two of the following (6):
    • HAW 632 Hawaiian As Second Language (3)
    • KED 660 Indigenous Culture-based Educ (3)
    • KED 661 Curr Dev Mauli Ola-based Sch (3)
    • KED 662 Indigenous Well-being Thru Edu (3)
  6. Completion of the Kahuawaiola Indigenous Teacher Education Program
    • KED 641 Hawaiian Medium Field Exp I (9) and KED 643 Hawaiian Medium Fld Exp II (9)
    • or both waived upon approved equivalent