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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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Age band(s): [X] College & Career   [X] General  

TitleAuthor(s)YearAge bandTypeTopics
The Influences of Indigenous Heritage Language Education on Students and Families in a Hawaiian Language Immersion ProgramRebecca J. I. Luning and Lois A. Yamauchi2010GeneralJournal
The Development of an Inventory of Exemplary Hawaiian Leadership BehaviorsGuy Kaulukukui and Daniel Nahoʻopiʻi2008GeneralJournal
Native Hawaiian Educational Assessment Update 2009: A Supplement to Ka Huakaʻi 2005Kamehameha Schools2009GeneralReport
Kikī Nā Wai: Swiftly Flowing Streams, Examples of ʻOhana and Community Integration in Culture-Based EducationBrandon Ledward, Brennan Takayama, and Walter Kahumoku, III2008GeneralBrief
Ke Aʻo Hawaiʻi (Critical Elements for Hawaiian Learning): Perceptions of Successful Hawaiian EducatorsAlice J. Kawakami and K. Kanani Aton2001GeneralJournal
Ka Huaka‘i: 2005 Native Hawaiian Educational AssessmentShawn M. Kanaʻiaupuni, Nolan Malone, and Koren Ishibashi2005GeneralReport
Initial psychometric validation of he ana mana‘o o nā mo‘omeheu Hawai‘i: A Hawaiian ethnocultural inventory (HEI) of cultural practicesKamanaʻopono Crabbe2002GeneralDissertationDemographics
Improving the Practice of Evaluation Through Indigenous Values and Methods: Decolonizing Evaluation Practice-Returning the Gaze from Hawaiʻi to AotearoaAlice J. Kawakami, Kanani Aton, Fiona Cram, Morris K. Lai, and Laurie Porima2007GeneralJournal
Improving academic performance among Native American students: A review of research literature.William Demmert Jr.2003GeneralReport
Hoʻopilina: The call for cultural relevance in educationShawn M. Kanaʻiaupuni and Brandon Ledward2013GeneralJournal
Ho‘opilina Kumu: Culture-Based Education among Hawai‘i TeachersBrandon Ledward, Brennan Takayama, and Kristin Elia2009GeneralReport
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): 'Ohana and Community Integration in Culture-Based EducationBrandon Ledward, Brennan Takayama, and Walter Kahumoku, III2008GeneralReport
From a Place Deep Inside: Culturally Appropriate Curriculum as the Emodiment of Navajo-ness in Classroom PedagogyTarajean Yazzie-Mintz2007GeneralJournalHawaiian Culture-based Education
E nānā i ke kumu. A Look at the Teacher: A study of the essential competencies of a Pūnana Leo teacherNoelani Iokepa-Guerrero2004GeneralDissertation
E Lauhoe mai nā wa‘a: Toward a Hawaiian indigenous education teaching frameworkShawn M. Kanaʻiaupuni and Keiki Kawaiʻaeʻa2008GeneralJournal
Culturally Congruent Teaching Strategies: Voices From the FieldNanette S. Schonleber2007GeneralJournal
Critical Culturally Sustaining/Revitalizing Pedagogy and Indigenous Education SovereigntyTeresa L. McCarty and Tiffany S. Lee2014GeneralJournalFamilies, Communities, and Systems
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

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