Filipino history to be studied in Hawai‘i high schools
As a state known for its cultural diversity, Hawai‘i prepares to introduce a pioneering social studies course, designed to explore the rich tapestry of Filipino history, culture, and identity.
Last year, HCR56, a resolution adopted with unanimous support from Hawai‘i legislators, called for the Department of Education to “enact a social studies course for high school students focusing on Filipino history, culture, and identity.” This 2023, it’s finally happening, one school at a time.
First of its kind, public high schools in Hawaiʻi are now getting ready to teach a groundbreaking course dedicated to Filipino studies. The said course, titled “CHR 2300 Filipino History Culture,” is the result of a two-year-long effort led by the Filipino Curriculum Project, a student-driven initiative aimed at integrating Filipino history into school curricula.
“I’m so proud of our entire team for having fought for Filipino representation in the classroom,” remarked Marissa Halagao, founder of the Filipino Curriculum Project in a news release from Hawaiʻi State Department of Education. “We did this for the sake of future Filipino students who have never seen their histories reflected positively in the curriculum.”
In a region where Filipinos constitute the largest ethnic group among public school students, accounting for nearly a quarter of the student population, this new course promises to bridge gaps and foster a deeper understanding of the Filipino heritage in Hawai‘i.
The course will further delve into six thematic units: Identity, Philippine history, Culture and Connections, Filipinos in Hawai‘i and the US, Philippines in an interconnected world, and Community Engagement and Civic Action.
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Farrington and Waipahu High Schools are expected to be the pioneers in offering the CHR 2300 course, reflecting their student populations where more than 50 percent are of Filipino descent.
This initiative marks a significant step towards promoting cultural diversity and inclusivity within Hawai‘i’s education system, acknowledging the valuable contributions and heritage of the Filipino community in the state.
Students can now register for this course, with classes set to commence in the next academic year. The introduction of the course is expected to enrich the educational experience of students and foster a deeper appreciation for the diverse tapestry of Hawai‘i’s history and culture.