Kū ‘Āina Pā: Standing Firmly in Knowledge Upon the Land

The second cohort has been chosen and has completed the Summer Intensive (June 9-14, 2013) at Māla‘ai: The Culinary Garden of Waimea Middle School. This year, eight of the teachers in the cohort were from O‘ahu, Kaua‘i, Maui, and Lāna‘i. Some of those teachers will be joining us for our yearlong program (see Expectations & Timeline). Beginning September 1, 2013, eight new FoodCorps Service Members will be beginning their School Garden/Farm to School positions in 8 schools statewide. They will be joining Cohort 2 for the Fall Workshop in Kona, September 20-22, 2013 and for the duration of the Kū ‘Āina Pā Program. (June 2013–June 2014).

This year-long course (see course timeline) will endeavor to:

Cultivate Our Sense of Place in the Living World:

• Understand the foundations and benefits of garden-based learning
• Build knowledge and practice of organic gardening systems
• Incorporate place-based, project-based, experiential and inquiry learning into garden activities

Nurture Interconnectedness:
• Align HCPS III with garden-based learning in science, math, literacy and health; learn to connect the Core Curriculum into garden-based learning
• Engage with faculty, administration, and community to create successful partnerships
• Strengthen your understanding of SustĀinability Education and appropriate whole systems work by grade level
• Integrate hands-on STEM learning into daily garden classes
• Hone your nutritional knowledge from Seed to Table

Foster Research and Reflection:

• Help you to create rubrics and logic models to incorporate into your planning
• Strengthen your toolbox of teaching techniques for the outdoor classroom
• Learn to design, build, and maintain an exceptional School Learning Garden
• Develop your own lesson “style” and create a daily class rhythm
• Practice “reflection” and a variety of tools for evaluation
• Create and present an Action Research Project over one year

As you can see, school garden educators are multi-faceted. You are a gardener, but you are also a teacher. You may well become part of your school’s science or STEM team. You are constantly thinking of ways to present core curriculum in engaging and experiential ways. Food, water, energy, waste, and economics play into the whole system of the garden every time you go out to work, as do the General Learner Outcomes. In the past, farming and gardening were practiced as an art, but today they have become a science with an emphasis on technology. It is our hope that by working together, we can develop a Hawai‘i School Learning Garden Team of Educators that will once again bring science AND the art of food production together in soil/seed to table programs. We can practice sound health education, connect with science and literacy standards, and work to elevate environmental sustainability to its proper place within our community’s vision of the future. The students will be leading the way and you will be facilitating their exploration, discovery, and invention working with these living dynamic systems of change. What an opportunity! It’s just what the world needs at just the right moment.