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Culture-based Education Research Resources

Culture-based education (CBE), and more specifically Hawaiian culture-based education (HCBE), is a key lever to achieving Kamehameha School’s (KS) Vision 2040 of a thriving lāhui. We believe that HCBE instills confidence and resiliency in Native Hawaiian learners to improve the well-being of the lāhui. An HCBE system engages Native Hawaiian learners to reach positive socio-emotional and academic outcomes. For that reason, KS is committed to creating and promoting an HCBE system where all students, Native Hawaiian learners in particular, will thrive and reach their full potential.

What is Culture-Based Education? 

CBE is grounded in the foundational values, norms, knowledge, beliefs, practices, experiences, and language of a(n indigenous) culture. It “places significance on Native language; place-based, and experiential learning, cultural identity; holistic well-being; and personal connections and belonging to family, community, and ancestors” (Alcantara, Keahiolalo, and Peirce, 2016). The literature base for CBE describes five basic elements that comprise this approach: Language, Family & Community, Context, Content, and Data & Accountability.

What is Hawaiian Culture-Based Education? 

In HCBE, the five elements of CBE are applied specifically from a Native Hawaiian perspective. For example, HCBE practitioners strive to incorporate ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian language) in the classroom and involve family and community in the development of Hawaiian-centered curricula relevant to learners. By sustaining the values, traditions, and language of Hawaiʻi through HCBE, we hope to see Native Hawaiians grow in success and contribute to their communities both locally and globally.

Culture-Based Education Resource Collection

This HCBE collection includes exclusively research-focused resources that explore CBE and HCBE in varying contexts. Users should make their own assessments of the quality of the data from these sources. It is our hope that these resources will support your journey to ʻimi naʻauao, or seek wisdom, that would strengthen the lāhui.

If you would like a research study to be included in this collection, please email us at

Our goal is to disseminate the results of our work as broadly as possible to benefit our communities and lāhui.

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Type(s): [X] Report  

TitleAuthor(s)YearAge bandTypeTopics
Native Hawaiian Educational Assessment Update 2009: A Supplement to Ka Huakaʻi 2005Kamehameha Schools2009GeneralReport
Left Behind? The Status of Hawaiian Students in Hawaiʻi Public SchoolShawn M. Kanaʻiaupuni and Koren Ishibashi2003K-12Report
Ka Huaka‘i: 2005 Native Hawaiian Educational AssessmentShawn M. Kanaʻiaupuni, Nolan Malone, and Koren Ishibashi2005GeneralReport
Improving academic performance among Native American students: A review of research literature.William Demmert Jr.2003GeneralReport
Hoʻomau i nā ʻŌpio Field-Test Findings from the 2008 Pilot-Test of the Nā ʻŌpio Youth Development and Assests SurveyKatherine Tibbets and Shawna Medeiros2008K-12Report
Ho‘opilina Kumu: Culture-Based Education among Hawai‘i TeachersBrandon Ledward, Brennan Takayama, and Kristin Elia2009GeneralReport
Ho‘omau i nā ōpio: Field-test findings of the nā ‘ōpio: Youth development and assessment surveyKatherine Tibbets, Shawna Medeiros, and Jacqueline Ng-Osorio2009K-12Report
Hawaiian Cultural Influences in Education (HCIE): School Engagement among Hawaiian StudentsBrennan Takayama and Brandon Ledward2009K-12Report
Hawaiian Cultural Influences in Education (HCIE): Culture-Based Education among Hawai‘i TeachersBrandon Ledward, Brennan Takayama, and Kristin Elia2009GeneralReport
Hawaiian Cultural Influences in Education (HCIE): Cultural Knowledge and Practice among Hawaiian StudentsBrandon Ledward and Brennan Takayama2009K-12ReportEducation (general)
Hawaiian Cultural Influences in Education (HCIE): Community Attachment and Giveback among Hawaiian StudentsBrandon Ledward and Brennan Takayama2009K-12Report
Hawaiian Cultural Influences in Education (HCIE): 'Ohana and Community Integration in Culture-Based EducationBrandon Ledward, Brennan Takayama, and Walter Kahumoku, III2008GeneralReport
Hawaiʻi Charter Schools: Initial Trends and Select Outcomes for Native Hawaiian StudentsShawn M. Kanaʻiaupuni and Koren Ishibashi2005K-12Report
Aloha Counts: Census 2000 special tabulations for Native HawaiiansKamehameha Schools2003GeneralReport
A Review of the Research Literature on the Influences of Culturally Based Education on the Academic Performance of Native American StudentsWilliam Demmert Jr. and John C. Towner2003GeneralReport
A Native Hawaiian Focus on the Hawaiʻi Public School System, SY2015Office of Hawaiian Affairs2017K-12Report

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