I had the opportunity to spend a few days in Hawaii. I’ve checked out some of the early childhood resources and settings there. One place, however, impressed me very much. I went to the day of activities at the Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu. This center was established to retain the culture of the Polynesian Islands and to financially support the education of Polynesian students at BYU-Hawaii. During the Luau, several small children danced the native dances of their island. There were huge smiles on their faces and a genuine joy in the dance. I was impressed how the children were learning the background of their culture and the strength of their background. Wouldn’t it be great if that is the way we all approached early childhood education? How wonderful it would be to see every early childhood setting create an atmosphere of success and joy in learning the educational heritage of our country. Education should be a celebration of new knowledge not a task of compliance. Those small Polynesian children gave me a lot think about.

2 responses

  1. Hawaii’s liberty in allowing children to come to school barefoot always attracted me. It turns school into a more comfortable and relaxed space. I doubt it will surface in many parts of the mainland anytime soon. Too many early childhood settings lack the funds to keep their environments safe and clean enough to allow tender unshodded feet.I pray that changes though because I’m a preferentially unshod early childhod teacher.

  2. Well, first of all, this is going to sound a little crazy probably, but I ran across your blog the other day, and you just happened to have been my kindergarten teacher. I believe it was ’93-’94(the year you won Teacher Of The Year) at Fox Hills. Haha, Crazy, I know. Anyways, just thought I’d say “Hi!”

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