GSA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - 2018

Paper No. 274-6
Presentation Time: 3:00 PM


CHINN, Pauline W.U., Curriculum Studies, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Everly 224, 1776 University Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96822

‘A’ohe pau ka ‘ike I ka hālau ho‘okāhi, All knowledge is not taught in the same school (Pukui, 1983). This Hawaiian saying honors diverse knowledge, reflecting the diverse topography, soils, rains, fauna and flora of the Hawaiian archipelago. It also alludes to different ways of knowing and representing place: through stories, place names, geology, indigenous and GIS mapping. This presentation suggests ways to introduce Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) into earth science professional development (PD) and concludes with some outcomes and implications of these educational interventions.

“Exploring Ways to Transform Teaching Practices to Increase Native Hawaiian Students' Interest in STEM,” an NSF PD project asks STEM teachers to learn TEK of their students’ places. In Hawai’i, the study of volcanoes often begins with Pele, goddess of volcanoes. Pele travels from Kahiki (Tahiti) to Hawai‘i with her siblings, who represent different natural phenomena. She searches for a volcanic hearth, plunging her digging stick into different islands before finding a home in Halema‘uma‘u Crater in Kilauea caldera. From a geoscience perspective, Pele lands on existing volcanoes, digs at sites of volcanic rejuvenation then finds a hearth in one of the world’s most active volcanoes. Her journey through the islands maps the sequence now explained with hot spot theory and stages of volcanism. An indigenous narrative is shown to precede and inform conventional geological maps and narratives.

Google Earth enables teachers to create an Indigenous map of the community in which they teach. Researching the meanings and stories of place names provides a glimpse into a landscape prior to western contact. Springs may no longer be seen, but recorded in elders' stories and geological records.

Teachers develop their community map into a curricular map by exploring the terrain, interviewing elders, identifying community partners and resources for instruction. Last, teachers write lessons integrating earth science content and the cultures and places of students. Outcomes of PD interventions in Hawai‘i and American Samoa are assessed through teachers’ journals, evidence of TEK integration in lessons, and student surveys reporting engagement and interest. Implications for earth science PD are discussed.

  • 11.11 Final GSA Strategies Integrate TEK into Geoscience Instruction-2.pdf (2.9 MB)