“With the major transformations in education today, the Punahou centers are vital to preparing our students for success in an uncertain and rapidly changing world.”
When we initially articulated the Aims of a Punahou Education in 2011, our intention was to define the skills, values, attitudes and qualities that express our hopes for a Punahou student at their graduation. The Aims do not describe specific academic subjects or content. Rather, they connect overarching aspirations of the Punahou educational experience.
The Aims also reflect the evolution of an important dimension to the student experience on campus over the past two decades. Our urgency to equip students with 21st-century skills brings the Aims from the periphery to the heart of a Punahou education.
What we loosely refer to as “the centers” include Wo International Center, Luke Center for Public Service, Kuaihelani Learning Center, Outdoor Education, and Design Thinking, Technology and Fabrication. Each of these centers represents a specific set of skills and aptitudes that connect to the Aims of a Punahou Education. They are interconnected through educational experiences organized by the emerging K – 12 Learning Commons. The Chapel program is another vital center.
Developing a global perspective and embracing diversity are encouraged by Wo International Center. Integrating Hawaiian values is cultivated by Kuaihelani and our Hawaiian Studies program. Engaged citizenship and social responsibility are guiding principles for the staff leading Luke Center for Public Service. Educating for a sustainable future is promoted through Outdoor Education activities. Seeing the connections between subjects, while generating alternatives and possibilities, are key to the work of our Design Thinking, Technology and Fabrication faculty. Guiding the spiritual development and ethical reasoning of students is a focus of the Punahou Chapel program.
The social, emotional and ethical qualities outlined in the Aims – such as interpersonal collaboration, compassion, empathy, and social and personal responsibility – can be recognized across each of the centers in their support of teachers by bringing experiences and projects to their classrooms. They help to develop within students their critical, creative and flexible thinking – as well as curiosity, resourcefulness and self-directed learning. The centers have become fertile educational spaces for the cultivation of the values, skills and qualities required to flourish in the 21st century. Until recently, participation in these programs has been peripheral to most student coursework. However, with the major transformations in education today, the Punahou centers are vital to preparing our students for success in an uncertain and rapidly changing world.
We are blessed with exceptional faculty leadership in the centers. And we are grateful for the tireless work of our principals and the entire faculty for making the centers central to the Punahou educational experience.
James K. Scott ’70