I wish I had known this earlier…

For more than 35 years, I have been a teacher. Throughout this time, I have tried to make education authentic and relevant to not only today but tomorrow as well. I have tried to incorporate a variety of strategies and experiences to enrich learning. Sometimes, I was successful.

In the September/October 2013 edition of Mana Magazine, is an article entitled Moenahā: A cultural climate for education in Hawaii. 

Moenahā comes from “moena” (mat) and ehā (four) to transtate to “mat of four weaving.”

Whether it be about teaching weather systems, making a mission statement for your company, or visioning a structure for your program…it flows down into the progression of lesson units.

Making connections (ho‘olohe)

Giving information (ho‘opili)

Experiencing understanding (ho‘ohana)

Inspiring work (ho‘opuka)

I love the process of learning here. Start with the goal in mind; what do you envision as the final product and what do you want to do with it? From that, lay out the mat with questions.

What do you already know? (ho‘olohe) 

What do you want/need to learn? (ho‘opili)

How can you translate this learning to tactile, hands-on experience? (ho‘ohana)

What have you been inspired to do from here? (ho‘opuka)

Do you see how this process avoids ceilings and promotes floors? It’s not so much about product as process. The goal in mind is a floor not a ceiling. Unlimited potential vs. limited accomplishment. Oh, how I wish I had understood this 35 years ago, but how thankful I am for understanding it more today!

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