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The Hawai‘i Standards document states, "The study of history should not rest solely on the knowledge of facts, dates, and places. Effective historical understanding requires students to engage in historical thinking. At the same time, history consists of real people and events, the accurate knowledge of which is crucial to proper historical understanding. Modes of historical thinking should therefore take place within a solid framework of actual historical events and developments."

Addressing the Standards:
At least for the study of Hawai‘i and Pacific Islands, Pacific Worlds provides a very useful resource towards this end:

The websites combine primary (oral) material with secondary material

Chronologies are provided, and there is an overall temporal sequence

There are multiple speakers (Guides), hence multiple perspectives. This also allows students to consider "fact" versus "opinion"

"Continuity and Change" is the fundamental focus of this project, with various perspectives as well as historical facts provided for each location

"Values" form another main focus of this project

Indigenous perspectives generally allow for the past to be judged on its own terms

Exercises promote the "doing" of history, with students focusing on their own local area.

In addition, the Suggested Historical Framework provided in the Standards booklet (bottom of this page) outlines specific themes in Hawaiian/Pacific history, many of which are addressed in Pacific Worlds websites. Use these as another guide.

Below are listed the content standards as laid out for Hawai‘i Schools (Source: "Social Studies Content Standards"). Use the ideas listed above to apply to the specific standards listed for each category and each grade level.

Content Standards History:
(taken directly from the Standards booklet)

Students employ chronology to understand change and/or continuity and cause and/or effect in history

Grades 4 - 5:

• Place people and events in chronological order to explain causal relationships between and among people and events.

• Identify change and continuity in historical eras.

Grades 6 - 8:

• Identify possible causal relationships in historical chronologies. • Offer fact-based explanations for change and continuity in history.

Grades 9 - 12:

• Analyze cause-and-effect relationships and multiple causation of change.

• Explain how change occurs at varying rates during different time periods and in different regions of the world.

Students learn to judge the past on its own terms and use that knowledge to understand present day issues, problems, and decision making.

Grades 4 - 5:

•Explain how rules and values of a society determine the behavior and attitudes of its members.

Grades 6 - 8:

• Develop historical empathy-analyzing the past on its own terms; not judging it solely by present-day norms and values.

Grades 9 - 12:

• Apply knowledge of historical periods to assess present-day issues and decision making.

Students use the tools and methods of historians to transform learning from memorizing historical data to “doing history.”

Grades 4 - 5:

• Distinguish historical fact from opinion.

Grades 6 - 8:

• Frame and answer questions through historical research.

• Differentiate between primary and secondary sources, recognizing the potential and limitations of each.

Grades 9 - 12:

• Distinguish information that is relevant vs. irrelevant and essential vs. incidental to research and assess the credibility of the sources.

• Use appropriate evidence gathered from historical research in written, oral, visual, or dramatic presentations.

Students explain historical events with multiple interpretations rather than explanations that point to historical linearity or inevitability

Grades 4 - 5:

• Explain how beliefs and education and/or the society in which a person resides shape his/her “point of view.”

Grades 6 - 8:

• Analyze and accept multiple perspectives and interpretations to avoid historical linearity and inevitability

Grades 9 - 12:

• Assess the quality of historical interpretations based on the arguments they advance and the evidence they use.




Addressing the
Content Standards:


Cultural Anthropology




Suggested Historical Framework for Implementing the Standards
(taken directly from the Standards booklet)

Grades 4 - 5:


• Patterns of Polynesian migration and settlement.

• Organization of precontact Hawaiian and Pacific island societies: chiefs, commoners, and rules of behavior (such as the kapu system).

• Relationship of the Hawai‘ian people to their land (ahupua’a system).

• Myths and beliefs of Hawai‘ian and Pacific island peoples.

Grades 6-8:


Students examine selected societies in Asia, Africa, Europe, Americas, and the Pacific using the themes of culture, change, conflict, and interdependence.


•Unification of the Hawai‘ian Kingdom: monarchs.

• Contact with Westerners: cultural conflicts (missionaries and native customs), devastating diseases, breaking of kapu system.

• The Mahele.

• Wealth, power, and influence of sugar plantation owners.

• Overthrow of the Hawai‘ian monarchy


• Geographic overview of Pacific island groups: Micronesia, Melanesia, and Polynesia. • Patterns of migration and settlement.

• Western imperialism and colonization.

• Post-World War II independence movements.

Grades 9-12:


• Annexation and Hawai‘i as a territory

• Political and economic dominance of the “Big Five.”

• Immigrant plantation workers and their struggles.

• World War II and statehood.

• Political “revolution” of 1954.

• Land use and ownership issues.

• Impact of tourism.

• Renaissance of Hawaiian culture and sovereignty movements.



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