Defying Conventional Content
Pinoy Teach defies conventional content and pedagogy by merging multicultural education, teacher education, social action, and Filipino American history and culture into one. In 1996, Dr. Patricia Espiritu Halagao and community activist Timoteo Cordova developed Pinoy Teach to address the absence of curriculum about Filipino Americans in schools. The title, Pinoy Teach, was chosen to inform the audience of our “positionality” as Filipino Americans, who researched, conceptualized, developed and taught the curriculum.
There are many facets to Pinoy Teach – its curriculum, pedagogy, professional development program, school-based partnership program, and products. It has since been implemented in middle schools in Seattle and Bellevue, Washington, schools in Hawai‘i, and is recognized as one of the only multicultural curriculum focused on Philippine and Filipino American history and culture in the nation.
Patricia Espiritu Halagao, Ph.D.
Dr. Patricia Espiritu Halagao is the co-author and executive director of Pinoy Teach, one of the only multicultural curricula on Filipino Americans in the nation. In 2000, she received the first Young Pioneer Award from the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) for her innovative work with Filipino Americans and education. She was also recognized as 100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the World under the award category of “Innovator and Thought-leader” by the Filipina Women's Network (FWN) in 2014.
Dr. Halagao is an Associate Professor of multicultural education and social studies at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. She received her Ph.D. in these areas from the University of Washington, Seattle and was an elementary teacher in the Oakland Public School District. Her teaching philosophy is based on “stirring the heart, mind, and soul” of students into action so that they promote equity and social justice in the world.
Dr. Halagao’s scholarship focuses on designing, implementing, and evaluating multicultural curricula that represent the diverse experiences and histories of ethnic groups. She is particularly interested in using her research to improve the educational experiences of disenfranchised ethnic groups like Filipinos and Pacific Islanders.
Dr. Halagao’s work has culminated in serving as a governor-appointed member on the Hawaiʻi State Board of Education (2013-2016). During her tenure as Chair of the Student Achievement Committee, she spearheaded the adoption of two new BOE policies: Multilingualism for Equitable Education (105.14) and Seal of Biliteracy (105.15). These policies re-envision language education in Hawaiʻi greatly impacting our multilingual/English Learner and immigrant populations—many of whom are Filipino.
Co-author, Pinoy Teach
Playwright, Community Activist
Former Special Projects Manager, Filipino Youth Activities
Founder, Sining KulUSAn Performing Arts Theatre Ensemble.