Nhsc-v1-126

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nhsc-v1-126

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contrast to the stratified social system that existed in Hawaii at the time. As late as 1920, the bulk of Hawaii's teachers were haole (40 percent), Hawaiian or part-Hawaiian (25 percent), and Portuguese (12 percent). 21/ After the Normal School was expanded, however, more Oriental and Hawaii-trained teachers began teaching.

C. CRITICISMS OF THE SYSTEM

Critics of the American educational system point out that native Hawaiians have been forced into a mold that does not fit them and that their identity has been taken from them. 22/

The Native Hawaiians Study Commission heard much testimony in January 1982 about the need for greater attention to native Hawaiian education. One native Hawaiian criticized the present system in the following way:

The Americans educational system has used the schooling process historically and contemporaneously as a means to inculcate American values on Native American communities, thereby altering native ways of life.
...The American Protestant Mission, the plantation system and industrialism, all are factors that have combined to establish American socio-economic order in these islands with little or no regard for Native Hawaiian identity. The school has become an instrument for the advancement of American ideology: its objectives are to deculturate Native Hawaiians rather than to acculturate them.
...most Americans understand what happened in Hawaii history as a process of acculturation as an equal two-way sharing process between Native Hawaiian and American culture. In [other] words, the process of cultural change in Hawaiian American communities is present in society an through the educational media a distorted point of view, the schools teach "white-American history" not "native-American history." As a consequence of this perspective, acculturation processes have always been perceived as a problem for Native Americans. They are not viewed in their proper perspective as problems which have been imposed on Hawaiians by Euro-American culture which has stripped them of their capacity to control their own life ways. 23/

In response to these criticisms of the educational system in Hawaii, the Commission received comments from the Superintendent of the State of Hawaii Department of Education. The Superintendent states that:

It is intimated that the educational system in Hawaii selectively destroyed the Hawaiian culture as it Americanized the children of Hawaii. If the culture were indeed destroyed, which we do not believe to be true, the causes have to be so much more complex than that the dominant haole or western-oriented school system did a total brain wash of the native population. The churches played a large part in this as did the centers of power in mercantilism, commerce and agribusiness. The other established ethnic groups could also complain that the culture of their respective ancestor generations who came to Hawaii were also "destroyed" by the western-oriented school system of this Territory which had, rightly or wrongly, been taken over by the United States.
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