College of Education (COE) Department of Curriculum Studies Professor Pauline Chinn received a four-year award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for Transforming Scientific Practices to Promote Students’ Interest and Motivation in the Life Sciences: A Teacher Leadership Development Intervention.

Chinn says the program is aligned with the vision of Hōkūle‛a’s Worldwide Voyage and the Promise to Children signed by the COE, University of Hawai‛i (UH), and Hawai‛i Department of Education (HIDOE):  “We are the stewards and navigators of Hawai‛i’s educational community. We believe that the betterment of humanity is inherently possible, and we believe our schools, collectively, from early childhood education through advanced graduate studies, are a powerful force for good” (Promise to Children).

Three courses, underwritten by NSF, integrate science with culture and place to engage students in developing design-based solutions to local problems of economic, cultural, and ecological importance. In the photo, Jackie Camit shows how art can be integrated into a lesson on ocean acidification.

Teachers and community partners will form an interdisciplinary professional learning community with a UH team, comprised of Chinn, Curriculum Studies Assistant Specialist Kahea Faria, School of Teacher Education Assistant Professor Kirsten Mawyer, Kawaihuelani Center for Hawaiian Language Professor Puakea Nogelmeier, and Botany Professor Celia Smith. Community partners provide students with STEM role models and exposure to future careers.

Recruitment is underway for the Fall 2017 EDCS 640J/P Seminar in Place-based Science. The seminar is designed to help teachers build their knowledge mauka-makai (ridge to reef) to engage students in problem-based learning addressing ecological issues, such as invasive and endangered species, water quality, and climate change. Other courses in the program will enable teachers to develop and teach lessons aligned to standards as well as to hone research skills that are integral to educational expertise.

Nine credits of NSF sponsored coursework may be applied to an Interdisciplinary MEd or PhD in Curriculum and Instruction. For more information contact Pauline Chinn at

Stay Connected

Receive a monthly newsletter covering COE news, events, and announcements

Sign Up