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Back To School

Cover Image: Masthead of Ka Lahui Hawaii published on April 26, 1877.

Aloha Nūhou Monday!  

In an ad published by the Board of Education in multiple Hawaiian language newspapers, Lahainaluna Seminary announced preparations for their upcoming school year to begin in July of 1877. It explained that the institution was about to instate a fundamental change — instruction would be shifting primarily to the English language instead of Hawaiian. Nonetheless, specific courses would continue to be taught in Hawaiian, such as Hawaiian History, Bible Studies, and Politics. The seminary listed their course subjects by classes and the required texts that students would need for their studies in disciplines such as Algebra, Science, and Geography. Many of the books utilized in the English courses were foreign texts, including Colburn’s Intellectual Arithmetic and The Science of Common Things.  

Certainly Lahainaluna Seminary was creating well-versed students. 

Image: Lahainaluna School, ca. 1880s. Photo by Christian J. Hedemann. Bishop Museum Archives. SP 77961.

Image: “No Ke Kula o Lahainaluna,” Ka Lahui Hawaii, April 26, 1877, p. 2.

Regarding Lahainaluna Seminary. 

At the beginning of the new school year, this coming July, Lahainaluna Seminary will be transitioning to an English language seminary for Hawaiian children; and the school will be fashioned as such: 

  1. The sections for the four years will remain; English is the language that most subjects will be taught in. 
  2. Prospective students will be tested in the subject areas being taught in district schools, and in the English “Primer” as well. 
  3. After new students are granted acceptance, they will be placed in the English class they are qualified for, following a written examination. 
  4. There will be an annual examination for each of the school’s classes, which will be a written exam; the students who pass these exams will be placed in a higher class, and certificates of release will be given, along with praise, to those who pass Class 1. 
  5. Grades will determine passing and non-passing for each student, which is under the purview of the school at all times, along with evaluating the students’ understanding of what is being taught. 
  6. Hawaiian History, Bible Studies, Moral Science, Constitutional Law, Natural Theology, and Political Economy will be taught in the Hawaiian language.  
  7. Manual labor for students will continue. 


List of the Branches of Instruction to be Taught at Lahainaluna Seminary.

Here are the foreign texts that will be required. 
Reading — Willson’s First Reader 
Intellectual Arithmetic — Colburn’s Intellectual Arithmetic 
Practical Arithmetic — Thompson’s Practical Arithmetic 
Geography — Cornell’s First Steps 
Bible Studies, Hawaiian History in Hawaiian. 

Reading — Willson’s Second Reader 
Practical Arithmetic — Thompson’s Practical Arithmetic 
Geography — “Our World” No. 1 
Science — Science of Common Things 
Writing, Speech in English. 
Constitutional Law, Natural Theology in Hawaiian. 

Reading — Willson’s Third Reader 
Book Keeping 
Science — Science of Common Things 
Moʻolelo Hui 
Essay Writing, Speech in English. 
History of Ancient Times in Hawaiian. 

Moʻolelo Hui 
Geometry, Surveying
Creative Writing, Speech Writing in English. 
Moral Science, Political Economy in Hawaiian. 

A class on conversational English — this includes all four classes, for all four years. Choir class — same as the class above. Lectures by the President to classes 1 and 2 — about the Teaching Profession. 
By order of the Board of Education.

Image: Title page of “He Helunaau, He Mea E Maa’i Ke Kanaka, I Ka Helu I Na Mea A Pau Ma Ka Noonoo Wale No” by Warren Colburn. Oʻahu, 1847. Bishop Museum Library (QA101.C68). SP 215972.

Image sharing on social media is welcome. For all other uses please contact, Bishop Museum Archives. 

Image: Title page of “He Hoikehonua, He Mea Ia E Hoakaka’i I Ke Ano O Ka Honua Nei, A Me Na Mea Maluna Iho” by W.C. Woodbridge. Oʻahu, 1845. Bishop Museum Library (G133.W88). SP 215973.

Image sharing on social media is welcome. For all other uses please contact, Bishop Museum Archives. 

This post is part of He Aupuni Palapala: Preserving and Digitizing the Hawaiian Language Newspapers, a partnership between Bishop Museum and Awaiaulu with assistance from Kamehameha Schools. Mahalo nui loa to Hawaii Tourism Authority for their support. Learn more about this project here.

One Response

  1. Hoihoi maoli nō kēia atikala nei, a pili hoʻi i kēia wā hoʻi kula! E aho paha kākou, nā kula o Hawaiʻi hoʻi, e hoʻi hou i nēia haʻawina kula i mea e maikaʻi ai nā haumāna o kēia hanauna nei. Mahalo!

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