Students and faculty explore the Aims of a Punahou Education through a variety of exploration-centered courses.
When Academy students returned to campus after winter break, they didn’t immediately return to their second semester class schedule. Instead, they created podcasts, learned the art of Gyotaku and traveled to destinations across the world. Others studied the art of lei making, went on fishing trips or practiced valuable survival skills. For the second year in a row, students were taking part in G-Term – a collection of exploration-centered courses based on the Aims of a Punahou Education.
Named for the seventh letter day that would follow Punahou’s A – F cycle calendar, G-Term gives Academy students valuable learning experiences that can’t be found in textbooks, while giving faculty and administrators a chance to create environments that would increase both student engagement and awareness of the Aims of a Punahou Education. These four-day courses (some travel experiences were longer) are non-graded which allows students to immerse themselves in the class without the pressure of letter grades.
“In the midst of the stresses of school, G-Term breaks the traditional academic content. G-Term allows students and faculty to step back and think about teaching and learning from a different perspective.” – President Jim Scott ’70
Nearly 100 alumni, parents and community volunteers participated in G-Term, and shared their expertise in diverse areas of study such as Shibori dyeing, vegan eating and animal welfare. Many parents generously contributed their time and talents in a variety of ways. Read about three alumni G-Term participants in this issue’s Alumni Profiles: Vanessa Van Gorder ’95 Distajo, Lee Zane ’88 and Jane Beachy ’97.
This year, 58 unique G-Term courses were offered to students in grades 9 – 12, with 10 of those experiences including off-island travel. A new element in this year’s G-Term was the Share Fair. On the final day of G-Term, every course was assigned a location and time to present their previous days’ experiences and learnings. Presentations ranged from musical performances and videos to live demonstrations and slideshows. “Share Fair was a great opportunity for students to see and learn about other courses,” says Special Terms Director Trisha Kawamoto ’98 Caley, who is responsible for the planning and coordination of G-Term. “The energy on campus was so positive, and you could see that students were relaxed and enjoying sharing with their friends and teachers.”
The G-Term courses that occur on campus offer a spectrum of experiences on their own, but what is it like to travel while you learn? From the lush forests of Moloka‘i and the rich history of Washington, D.C. to the cultural diversity of Singapore, Academy students were offered a variety of off-campus G-Term courses.