Kuahuokalā: Reflections on Space and Transformative Education Conversations


How can a place transform a conversation? In this paper the authors discuss how meeting to develop a professional learning community in a hale, a traditional native Hawaiian building, changed the course and direction of the learning community. Too often, departments and divisions of higher education are driven by external standards imposed by state and national accrediting and licensing agencies. The conceptions of education and the way it is implemented then is more focused on meeting the standard rather than coming to a deeper understanding of what can be accomplished for our communities in the name of education and how it can be achieved. Our PLC is intended to address this shortcoming by creating space of sharing, conversation and communal action. What emerged from our work within our relationship to the hale was an expression of the values, commitments and ideals that emerged through the context of our developing relationship. With a political desire for voice, we built a community that found meaning in the process of building something greater than ourselves, yet fundamentally immersed in our everyday lives.