The Mānoa Academy: What Iʻve been up to

In a recent bio, I described myself as “Manoa Academy Scholar” mainly because this title combines two of the institutions Iʻm working at right now – Kamehameha Schools and UH Mānoa.

Over the past year or so, Iʻve been involved in a dual credit program in which High School students get college credit while in High School for courses taught by UH faculty. Being virtually the only Kamehameha teacher who is also UH faculty, I was at the vanguard of this program. Iʻm now about to begin my third course in this program, Ethnic Studies 221: Hawaiians (Intro to Political Science was offered previously). The video below describes the program, which is also partnering with the following schools:

  1. Henry J. Kaiser High School
  2. Kaimuki High School
  3. Kalani High School
  4. Kamehameha Schools Kapalama
  5. President Theodore Roosevelt High School
  6. Punahou School – Clarence T.C. Ching Pueo Program
  7. Saint Francis School

1 Comment

Filed under Education

One response to “The Mānoa Academy: What Iʻve been up to

  1. Katherine Kamaʻemaʻe Smith

    Aloha kāua e ʻUmi,

    Mānoa Academy sounds like a wonderful enrichment program. Raising expectations, pointing out higher goals and training with new tools are blessed gifts to high school students.

    I had the opportunity to work with UH senior interns with a desire to write. They were eager to express themselves so I did not have to encourage them to get started. However, they lacked proficiency in basic communications skills: writing for readers (in the readerʻs context), researching and corroborating facts for a news report and storytelling composition. Spelling was fine, but these seniors were somewhat deficient in grammar and punctuation. They had trouble editing and proofreading their own compositions beyond simple automated grammar check. They picked up new concepts and skills quickly because they were highly motivated. I was very pleased with their progress over 13 weeks, they got to see their work in print, and I felt privileged to pass on some useful writing craft.

    Style was another issue. I noticed a bias toward flowery, imprecise language with a lack of action verbs. I attribute this bent to a sophomore practice of meeting the “word count” with the least amount of research. 🙂 They learned to avoid “to be” and choose rich action verbs and modifiers.

    When I lived in South Bend, IN, entering Notre Dame students from the top secondary schools in Hawaiʻi told me “English is our hardest subject.”

    I share my observations with the idea that, perhaps Mānoa Academy program might benefit by adopting a set of English composition standards and learning objectives for all program communications so that students might improve their communications skills as they explore the wonder and satisfaction of their core studies. Me ka hana, ka ʻike.

    ʻO wau me ka haʻa haʻa i kou lokomaikaʻi loa

    na Kamaʻemaʻe


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