Thursday, May 18, 2006
I had the opportunity to spend a few days in Hawaii. I've checked out some of the early childhood resources and settings there. One place, however, impressed me very much. I went to the day of activities at the Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu. This center was established to retain the culture of the Polynesian Islands and to financially support the education of Polynesian students at BYU-Hawaii. During the Luau, several small children danced the native dances of their island. There were huge smiles on their faces and a genuine joy in the dance. I was impressed how the children were learning the background of their culture and the strength of their background. Wouldn't it be great if that is the way we all approached early childhood education? How wonderful it would be to see every early childhood setting create an atmosphere of success and joy in learning the educational heritage of our country. Education should be a celebration of new knowledge not a task of compliance. Those small Polynesian children gave me a lot think about.