Place-based and Sustainability Education
MEd Interdisciplinary Education, Curriculum Studies
Typical Length 2 years
MEd-CS Interdisciplinary Education track with an emphasis in Place Based and Sustainability Education is a 30-credit cohorted program for educators interested in place-based teaching and learning in the ahupua‘a and cultures of Hawai‘i’s students, local and global communities. This project is based on Next Generation Science Standards and Nā Hopena Aʻo, the Hawai‘i Department of Education framework “to develop the skills, behaviors and dispositions that are reminiscent of Hawaiʻi’s unique context, and to honor the qualities and values of the indigenous language and culture of Hawaiʻi.” Place-based activities embodying core Hawaiian cultural values of sustainability and environmental stewardship will develop teachers’ culturally grounded competencies. Courses are field-based, online and at school sites. Three courses are tuition-free with acceptance into Dr. Pauline Chinn’s 2017-2021 NSF grant program. This track will prepare you to: (a) teach ecological, cultural and economic issues, (b) give students real world learning experiences, (c) integrate subjects for problem and project-based learning, and (d) collaborate with school and community colleagues.
PK-20 formal and informal educators interested in developing place-based, interdisciplinary, culturally sustaining curricula oriented to sustainable, resilient communities and ecosystems.
Graduates are prepared to be educational leaders in school and community settings. They gain community and curricular mapping strategies that identify community-based educational resources and develop partnerships supporting high context curriculum development. Finally, their research skills support ongoing planning, evaluation and refining of programs that reflect changes in their educational ecosystem.
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Must have graduated from an accredited, four-year institution of higher education recognized by the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM), prior to beginning the MEd, Curriculum Studies: Interdisciplinary: Place-Based Education (Ahupua'a & Watershed) program.
An Undergraduate Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
A transcript from each post-secondary institution attended.
A written statement of objectives as part of your application.
Your resume or CV.
Three (3) letters of recommendation
Applicants who are not native English speakers may need to take the TOEFL or IELTS (Academic) tests. For more information view the Graduate Division website.
International students are required to submit a copy of their Identification documents (i.e. Passport or Identification Card)
International applicants need to show proof of sufficient funding to cover all educational and living expenses
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* International students, in light of changing US entry visa and policies due to COVID-19, please contact Graduate Division at email@example.com to discuss admissions.
Financial assistance may be found at:
- Department of Curriculum Studies Merit-based Giving Tree Scholarship
- College of Education scholarships
- STAR website (please note that this is only accessible to students with a valid UH ID number – must be admitted as a student prior to looking for scholarships on this site)
- Graduate Assistantships and Campus Employment
- Financial Support section of the Graduate Division website
- Tuition Waivers (Graduate Assistant Tuition Waivers, Kua‘ana Tuition Waiver)
- UH Manoa Financial Aid Office (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- TEACH Grant
- Federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness
- Student Scholarships (Hawai‘i Community Foundation, Hawai‘i Education Association Hawaii Education Association, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Kamehameha Schools, other)
CS programs offer a diverse array of course delivery. Courses may be offered on-campus in the evening or as hybrid online courses. See the UH Mānoa Catalog for details.
MEd Place Based and Sustainability Education courses may be online or hybrid online/ face to face. EDCS 640P(S) Seminar in Place-based Education, Sustainability has online, face-to-face, and field-based components. Participants are invited to host the class to share how they work with community partners and/or incorporate their place-based resources into curriculum and instruction.
The MEd-CS Place Based and Sustainability Education track is a 30-credit graduate program consisting of the following:
- 4 core courses (12-credits)
- EDCS 622G: Curriculum Leadership (3)
- EDCS 606: Introduction to Research (3)
- EDCS 632: Qualitative Research Methods (3) or approved alternative research methods course
- EDCS 667G: Seminar in Curriculum Issues (3)
Minimum 6 specialization courses (18-credits) – required and/or recommended coursework and directed study in specialization track. Courses should be chosen in consultation with advisor.
- Plan A Thesis or Plan B Paper/Project
For a full listing of courses, see the MEd-CS Handbook: Place-based and Sustainability Education.
Our faculty and staff will provide you with guidance and resources to support your success from beginning to end. You will receive a dedicated faculty advisor to partner with you on your journey.