Teacher Workshop Report: 2015

World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument (VALR) has been hosting a summer teacher’s workshop for the past three years. With grants provided by the Grindstone Foundation, funding from Pacific Historic Parks and a partnership with the Hawaii Department of Education offering professional development credit for local teachers, VALR has been able to greatly impact the teaching of World War II locally.

The 2015 summer teacher workshop focused on, “World War II and the Japanese American Experience; a Local and Regional Perspective.” Held June 16-19, 2015, this free program brought together approximately 25 Hawaii-based high school teachers to examine the causes and effects of Japanese American internment during World War II, compare the experiences of those on Hawaii and the mainland, and explore the differences between martial law and Executive Order 9066. This year VALR hosted educators and subject matter experts from the National Japanese American Historical Society, Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii, Golden Gate National Parks, and Hawaii Department of Education. These speakers, along with the VALR ParkED team, introduced new curriculum, inquiry-based pedagogy, and a unique historic lens that can be readily incorporated into classroom content and become a part of a nationwide curriculum.

Photos can be viewed online in our Facebook album.

The Pacific West Region recipient of the Achieving Relevance Interpretive Team Award goes to Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GOGA) and World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument (VALR), working with the National Japanese American Historical Society, the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii, and the Hawaii Department of Education. The goal of this partnership is to combine the efforts of Pacific Area Confinement Sites and other significant sites in classrooms across the Pacific. GOGA Education Lead Nancy Caplan and VALR Education Coordinator Frank Middleton were the two point persons on this project.

For more information on the developed curriculum please email

Teachers may be interested in our taking their students on a field trip to World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument (USS Arizona Memorial). To request free tickets for a student group, please fill out our request a field trip form.

Stay tuned for 2016 Summer Teacher Workshop announcements.