Skip to Main Content

ʻĀina-Based Learning Assessment Framework

ABL learning cycle of muʻo liko kumu.

Why ʻĀina-Based Learning?

  • The seeds for an ‘āina based rubric were planted many years ago as kumu at Kapiʻolani CC witnessed the transformational qualities of weaving topics around ‘āina and Native Hawaiian culture throughout their lessons.
  • Kalāhū, an immersive professional development experience dedicated to ‘āina based learning on our campus, allowed for further development and idea sharing among participants.
  • From those collaborations, the idea of an ‘āina-based learning designation in the course catalog emerged. Kalāhū members created a statement of purpose that included plans to create a rubric for increased efforts around assessment, which is where we are today.
  • The previous practitioners of ‘āina-based assessment and the participants of Kalāhū acted as the fertile soil to provide grounding and set the context of ‘āina based assessment.
  • Throughout the process of the rubric creation, ‘Aha Kalāualani curriculum committee members Lisa Kanae (Chair of Languages, Linguistics & Literature) and Annie Thomas (Acting Unit Head, Library & Learning Resources) acted as water, a life force needed to grow our ideas, supporting our efforts. Nāwaʻa Napoleon (Dean of Arts & Sciences) was the light, illuminating how we could tie all the pieces together and carry forth the idea of nourishing an idea until it was food for thought.

Proposal for an ‘Āina-Based Learning Designation at Kapi‘olani CC [PDF]


What inspired us to be a part of the project?

  • The connection to Hawaiian culture, and the chance to do something meaningful.

What moves us to think about land and culture in teaching and learning?

  • Land and culture are so closely tied together, just as land and resources are closely tied together, so if we can teach and learn about land and culture, hopefully we can dismantle the systems that destroy land and culture.

What are you most excited about sharing with the campus at large?

  • Our campus will have a rubric + model to use as an example, which will support and encourage teachers of ABL designated courses as well as others who are interested in starting off smaller.


This project was supported by a U.S. D.O.E. Title III Native Hawaiian Serving Grant.