The Uehiro Academy was honored to participate in the 11th East-West Philosophers’ Conference from May 24-31st. On Thursday, May 26 Dr. Thomas Jackson, Dr. Ben Lukey, Dr. Amber Strong Makaiau, and Dr. Mitsuyo Toyoda had the opportunity to address the participants at a large plenary session. In their presentation, they gave an overview of the purpose and projects of the Uehiro Academy for Philosophy and Ethics in Education.
On Friday, May 27 Dr. Ben Lukey, Dr. Amber Strong Makaiau, Dr. Taketo Tabata (MUE), and Soichi Kawasaki (MUE) gave a joint presentation titled, “Intellectual Safe Spaces: Philosophy for Children.” Concurrently, Dr. Mitsuyo Toyoda gave a presentation related to the comparative environmental philosophy of J. Baird Callicot.
On May 20, Ka’elepulu Elementary School hosted their first annual p4c Day where, every teacher and all 200 students on campus were engaging in “Plain Vanilla” inquiries concerning a Pixar short film stimulus. The inquiries were facilitated by 23 Kailua High School students and the 200 Ka’elepulu Elementary students on campus were mixed to make up 10 groups of 20 students representing each grade on campus (K-6). Chad Miller, who led this project, was quoted as saying:
“this was one of the most rewarding professional experiences of my life, largely because it was the joining of several projects I have been working tirelessly on for the past several years.”
The ECET 2 HI conference was born out of a desire to provide a forum for exceptional teachers to learn from one another and to celebrate the teaching profession. At this year’s ECET 2 HI faculty at the Uehiro Academy and a number of p4cHI teachers had the opportunity to give professional presentations and engage in a number of collaborative initiatives with educators from across the state. This included a keynote address from Dr. Chad Miller, a presentation on p4cHI by Chad Miller and Kiki Bush, and a presentation on Perspectives for a Diverse Hawai‘i by Amber Strong Makaiau, Patricia Halagao, and Alder Olive.
ECET2HI Handout | ECET PowerPoint
From February 9 – 13, 2016 the Uehiro Academy welcomed Professors Akihide Osugi, Yoshio Sumoto, Yasuhiro Hashimoto, Tomoo Nakahara, and Noboru Tanaka. This group of esteemed educators is taking the lead in rethinking the national social studies curriculum in Japan and they were interested in seeing how p4cHI and the C3 Framework might inform their decision-making. Taketo Tabata from the Miyagi University of Education accompanied them on this important research exchange. Professor Tabata is interested in supporting the development of p4c Sendai. While they were in Hawai‘i the group got to see how p4cHI is used to teach social studies at the elementary and high school level in both public and private schools. They engaged in discussion with Uehiro Academy faculty and students such as the Kailua High School Philosurfers. They also had the opportunity to meet with HIDOE State Social Studies Specialist Rosanna Fukuda to learn how the C3 Framework is now being used to upgrade state social studies standards in the United States. The Uehiro Academy is looking forward to further developing the relationships that were strengthened on this visit and to collaborating on the evolution of social studies education both in Japan and the United States.
The success of the Future Surfrider Day and WE>I Day has lead to the launch of the Surfrider Philosopher in Residence Project. This innovative project “interns” upperclassmen from Kailua High School and utilizes their expertise in “doing” philosophy by placing them in classrooms to help interested teachers implement p4c Hawai‘i into their courses. This semester there are three “philoSURFERS” who are laying the foundational groundwork of the project by supporting teachers at Maunawili Elementary School, Enchanted Lake Elementary School, Ka‘elepulu Elementary School, Waimānalo School, and Kailua High School (Kailua High School’s mascot is the Surfrider and they are affectionately known as the Surfers, hence the philoSURFERS). Using student leaders to aid teachers indicates an important transformation in p4c Hawai‘i, one that recognizes the power of students to bring about meaningful change in education. In the first 13 weeks of the project, the philoSURFERS’ impact has reached four schools, 22 teachers, and roughly 560 students. Clearly, this has become one of the most important and influential initiatives of the Uehiro Academy because teachers and students, who we don’t have the resources to support, are being exposed to philosophy as a result of this project.
From March 28 – April 1, 2016, five teachers from Japan had the opportunity to participate in learning exchange with p4cHI practitioners in Hawai’i. Building upon the August exchange, the Uehiro Academy arranged for more time for dialogue with p4cHI teachers. The six p4c Miyagi teachers visited three schools, and at each school they were able to make presentations about p4c Miyagi and have several hours dialogue with groups of teachers at each school.
Dr. Amber Strong Makaiau and Dr. Patricia Halagao are currently leading a 3 credit PDe3 Course for HIDOE teachers statewide. This course provides a general overview of Perspectives for a Diverse America (PDA), which is a literacy-based curriculum that marries anti-bias social justice content with the rigor of the common core state standards.
The course is running in the following sequence:
1. Perspectives for a Diverse Hawaii Session I – April 30, 2016 8:30am – 4:30pm (face-to- face meeting)
2. Webinars & Online Office Hours: The Anti-Bias Framework in Perspectives, Complex and Diverse Texts for the Common Core and More, and How to Build a Learning Plan
3.Perspectives for a Diverse Hawaii Session II – June 3, 2016 8:30am – 4:30 (face-to- face meeting)
4. Participants Implement PDA ILPs during the Fall 2016 semester; 5. Professional PDA. Portfolios Due on November 1, 2016.
Agendas: April 30, 2016 | June 3, 2016
In February of 2016 Amber Strong Makaiau was invited to give a presentation at the CCSSO Social Studies Assessment, Curriculum, and Instruction (SSACI) State Collaborative on Assessment and Student Standards (SCASS) Spring Meeting in California. The title of her presentation was Teaching the C3 Framework P-20: Guidance for Successful Partnerships Between State Agency Representatives and Higher Education.
The Uehiro Academy hosted a Sayonara dinner for visiting scholar Aya Watanabe who is returning to Japan to complete a Masters thesis about philosophy for children Hawai‘i. Aya has been in Hawai‘i for one and half years.
We wish her the best of luck! Our paths will definitely cross again!
In April of 2016, Dr. Amber S. Makaiau’s p4cHI International Journaling Project colleagues presented a paper of theirs at the annual meeting of the American Education Research Association in Washington DC, USA. The title of their paper is, “Balancing Tensions: An International Self-Study in Diverse Contexts.”