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COE Alumna Wins International Dissertation Award

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November 2, 2018
CPED Award

UH Mānoa College of Education (COE) alumna Dr. Erin N.K. Thompson was selected for the 2018 Carnegie Project of the Education Doctorate (CPED) Dissertation in Practice Award. A professor and counselor at Leeward Community College, Thompson earned both an MEd in Educational Administration and an EdD in Professional Educational Practice, which was also recently awarded by CPED with a 2018  Program of the Year Award.

"We are exceptionally proud of Dr. Thompson's research and subsequent award," Dean Nathan M. Murata said. "She is a stellar example of the quality of our COE programs and alumni."

Thompson’s dissertation, From Mo’olelo to Mana’o: Transforming Postsecondary Support Systems for Native Hawaiian Teacher Education Students (An Action Research Narrative Inquiry), was recognized as a scholarly endeavor that impacts a complex problem of practice. Focusing on the mo‘olelo (stories) of Native Hawaiian Teacher Education students and their relationships with education and culture, Thompson’s purpose was to glean lessons that inform and improve student support services.

“This award validates and encourages the use of qualitative inquiry, action research, counter-narratives, and methodologies that support indigenous ways of knowing and being,” Thompson explained. “Most importantly, this award provides a venue that highlights and celebrates the voice and wisdom of Native Hawaiian Teacher Education students who passionately and generously share their stories, ideas, and suggestions for program improvements.”

As part of the dissertation, 50 Native Hawaiian students, who attended Leeward Community College’s Associate in Arts in Teaching program between 2006 and 2016, completed a qualitative survey and participated in interviews and a focus group. Findings revealed the importance of a Native Hawaiian identity; the value of achievement in an educational context; and how the development of Native Hawaiian, student, and future teacher identities impacts self-efficacy. 

Thompson concluded, “The CPED organization provides standards in excellence in program development, mentorship and advising, and evaluation of EdD programs. This award recognizes the rigor and quality of the EdD in Professional Educational Practice at the COE and its role in transforming service professionals to reflective scholar practitioners.” 

An international consortium of over 100 colleges and schools of education, CPED has been working to strengthen professional preparation in education at the highest level since 2007. Thompson’s dissertation was one of 41 nominated from 25 CPED member institutions.


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