MEd CS Student (Aloha Kumu Cohort)

Keliʻi Makua

"Ma ka hana ka ʻike – keiki learn and develop by doing, exploring, and creating."




Curriculum Studies

Related Degrees

  • BEd, Elementary & Early Childhood Education

What drew you to the Aloha Kumu* program?
I like the idea of the program providing professional development opportunities that fit into an already busy and stressful schedule of a teacher. These opportunities will empower kumu to meet the needs of our keiki.

What is your current position?
I am a kindergarten teacher at Ke Kula Kaiapuni ʻO Ānuenue, a K–12 Hawaiian Immersion School. I have been teaching kindergarten for 14 years.

What is your philosophy of teaching?
Ma ka hana ka ʻike – keiki learn and develop by doing, exploring, and creating. Through doing, the activities are hands-on and range from the concrete to the abstract. These help to develop the keiki’s reasoning skills and help them to problem solve. Activities must also be meaningful and engaging. To further their learning, keiki must experience success. We can take their strengths and build upon them and strengthen their weaknesses as well. Learning is enhanced by a supportive and challenging environment. We can take the learning out of the four wall environment to the outside. A teacher must be creative and think outside of the box, and so can keiki. When keiki are creative, they are buliding on what they know and improving on it.

A letter from a parent of two former students…
“Kumu Keliʻi, Our ʻohana would like to send a special mahalo to you for all you do. My keiki were blessed to have you as their kumu papa mala aʻo. You started their Ānuenue journey with them, and now that they are starting 7th and 9th grade next year, we are reflecting on the special times and kumu who made a difference. Mahalo iaʻoe e Kumu Keli’i no ka ho’omanawanui me na keiki a me ke aloha nui ia lakou kekahi.”

*The Aloha Kumu Cohort is made up of teachers in Nānākuli, Waiʻanae, Kapolei, Waipahu, and Honolulu schools. The program is based on a Hawaiian perspective of health, well-being, relationships, and education. The focus is on community-based education and National Board Certification. Please contact Dr. Kimo Cashman at for more information.

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