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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

Search our collection using the filters below to narrow results. You may select multiple filters.

Other criteria:
Topic(s): [X] Evaluation   [X] Learner Outcomes   [X] Literature Review   [X] Pedagogy  
Age band(s): [X] Early Childhood   [X] K-12  
Type(s): [X] Journal   [X] Instrument   [X] Map  

Title Author(s) Year Age band
Mohala i ka wai: Cultural Advantage as a Framework for Indigenous Culture-Based Education and Student Outcomes Shawn M. Kanaiaupuni, Brandon Ledward, and Nolan Malone 2017 K-12
Use of Native Language and Culture (NLC) in Elementary and Middle School Instruction as a Predictor of Mathematics Achievement Mark J. Van Ryzin and Claudia G. Vincent 2017 K-12
Family Involvement in a Hawaiian Language Immersion Program Lois A. Yamauchi, Jo-Anne Lau-Smith, and Rebecca J.I. Luning 2008 K-12
Making Meaning: Connecting School to Hawaiian Students' Lives Lois A. Yamauchi, Tasha R. Wyatt, and Alice H. Taum 2005 K-12
Education with Aloha and Student Assets Katherine Tibbets, Kū Kahakalau, and Zanette Johnson 2007 K-12
Education and Native Hawaiian Children: Revisiting KEEP Roland G. Tharp, Cathie Jordan, Gisela E. Speidel, Kathryn Hu-Pei Au, Thomas W. Klein, Roderick P. Calkin, Kim C.M. Sloat, and Ronald Gallimore 2007 K-12
Academic Achievement Across School Types in Hawaiʻi: Outcomes for Hawaiian and non-Hawaiian students in conventional public schools, western-focused charters, and Hawaiian language and culture-based schools Brennan Takayama 2008 K-12
Triarchically-Based Instruction and Assessment of Sixth-Grade Mathematics in a Yup'ik Cultural Setting in Alaska Robert J. Sternberg, Jerry Lipka, Tina Newman, Sandra Wildfeuer, and Elena L. Grigorenko 2005 K-12
Constant Perimeter, Varying Area: A Case Study of Teaching and Learning Mathematics to Design a Fish Rack Anthony Rickard 2005 K-12
An Exploratory Study of Cultural Identity and Culture-Based Educational Program for Urban American Indian Students Kristin M. Powers 2006 K-12
Culture-Based Education and Its Relationship to Student Outcomes Shawn M. Kanaʻiaupuni, Brandon Ledward, and ʻUmi Jensen 2013 K-12
He Pūkoʻa Kani ʻĀina: Mapping Student Growth in Hawaiian-Focused Charter School Shawn M. Kanaʻiaupuni 2008 K-12
Culturally Responsive Schooling for Indigenous Youth: A Review of the Literature Angelina E. Castagno and Bryan McKinley Jones Brayboy 2008 K-12

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