University of Hawaii AT Manoa
College of Education Partnership

In 2018, Hanahau‘oli School and the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa (UHM) College of Education (COE) entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) —“for their mutual benefit and the benefit of education in Hawaii. With a mutual desire to build a Professional Development School (PDS) that emphasizes progressive, interdisciplinary, and inquiry approaches to learning—Dr. Amber Strong Makaiau, Associate Specialist in the UHM COE Institute for Teacher Education Secondary Program, will serve as a bridge between Hanahau‘oli School and the COE as Hanahau‘oli School’s Professional Development Center Director.”

Since then the Hanahau‘oli School PDC and the UHM COE has built upon many longstanding partnerships and relationships to collaborate on:

  • Teacher Preparation, including hosting teacher candidates on school visits, mentoring, formal Observation and Participation coursework, and as a site for Student Teaching during the candidates’ UHM COE teacher preparation programing.

  • Professional development, including arts, early childhood, and inquiry workshops.

  • Research related to progressive education, inquiry, interdisciplinary approaches to teaching and learning, and parent engagement.


As the Hanahau‘oli PDC and the UHM COE continue to grow this partnership we look forward to further developing Hanahau‘oli School as lead PDS that is grounded in progressive education philosophy and practice.  As we continue to design and carry out development programs for educators from schools across the state, we also look forward to expanding the work to national and international audiences. We also hope to take the lead on developing collaborative relationships and partnerships within the local educational community, and help to build the state’s capacity for sharing and utilizing local talent and resources to produce innovation in education. Finally, we aim to initiate the process of creating UHM COE degree coursework around Progressive Education that will provide studies for a global network of educators interested in this field.

With a commitment to serving a public purpose, the Professional Development Center (PDC) at Hanahau‘oli was eventually established to serve as the institutional bridge between the school and the community. To view a more detailed timeline -- from the school’s recent history -- that describes the evolution of the establishment of the PDC at Hanahau‘oli School, please visit PDC History.