Who is Kapono Ciotti


Education is an act of Social Justice.

Kapono Ciotti is passionate about the science of teaching and learning and has put this practice to work as Head of School at Waialae School, Hawaii’s premiere publicly funded progressive education school. Kapono is an international trainer and professional development coach, teacher, and a culture and place-based curriculum writer, focusing on culturally appropriate pedagogy . With the Pacific American foundation, he has written for the Kai E’e, Malama Kaho’olawe and Aloha ‘Aina curriculums and facilitated numerous trainings for DOE, Charter, and Independent School. He has over 12 years of classroom teaching before moving into senior administration in non-profit, high school and elementary school. He is a facilitator for the National Association of Independent Schools specializing in issues of diversity in education, and a contributor to national movements in project-based, and 21st century learning.

Kapono Ciotti is a doctoral student in International education and holds a Masters degree in Social Change and Development from the University of Newcastle, Australia and a Bachelors in Language and Cultural Studies from The Evergreen State College, Washington.

Post: 2/17/2017: Transformational Education

Over the past year, I’ve had the privilege of working with several of education’s greats.

My journey started at the age of four as a student at Hanahauoli School. My personal education mentor, Dr. Robert G. Peters was then my principal. Dr. Peters was and is one of the greats in progressive education, following in the footsteps of John Dewey and the like, and the person who has most shaped my views of what is important to learn, how kids learn, and how we know what learning has occurred.

Working with Dr. Peters has propelled me into the world of transformative education and has allowed me to work along side the likes of Bob Lenz (Buck Institute of Education), Ken Kay (EdLEader21), Tom Vander Ark, Milton Chen, Tony Wagner, Ted Dintersmith, and the amazing team at the National Association of Independent Schools.

This past year, Ted Dintersmith, producer of the film Most Likely to Succeed  came to Hawaii to learn and inspire. Working with Ted  and others has been a wonderful experience. Some of that journey is captured here, in the film Ka Helena A’o, produced by Josh Reppun and Kelsey Matsu. CLICK HERE for Ka Helena A’o