In the end we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught.     - Baba Dioum, 1968

As part of Tetiaroa Society’s commitment to Pacific island conservation and the communities that they support, our Education Program strives to teach local and foreign students about the natural and cultural heritage of the region and how to live sustainably in our island/ocean world.

Local Program

Tetiaroa Society works closely with the French Polynesia Education Department to develop and carry out field course on Tetiaroa for students ages 8 to 18. These courses are generally 4-5 days on Tetiaroa for up to 30 students and they include scientific information and traditional knowledge on the flora and fauna of Tetiaroa, the cultural history of the island, and both traditional and modern sustainable living practices.

Tetiaroa Society also works with the Université de la Polynésie française to host internships and short field programs for university students over a variety of academic disciplines.

Hinano and the kids

Hinano captivates students and brings history and culture alive.

Frank with Lakeside school students

Frank introducing the wonders of the atoll to visiting students from the Lakeside School.

International Students

Tetiaroa Society hosts field courses for student from outside of French Polynesia. Over the past several years we have had high school, Community College, and University groups from the US visit for up to two weeks to do field courses. Before the COVID pandemic this program was rapidly expanding and we expect it to resume this in coming years.

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Our Educational Philosophy & Methods

The general objective of our program is to enable students to understand the complexities of the relationship between humans and the environment. We aim to guide students towards a greater appreciation of sustainable development and its direct relationship with bio-cultural diversity.
We use interdisciplinary, project-based lessons, aimed at delivering a diverse balance of culture, science and language, ensuring that our program goes beyond "what we want to teach" to "how we want to teach it". We hope to engage students and teachers by encouraging free-thinking and sparking innovation. We are committed to modeling positive behaviors and mutual respect among all participants.

in the middle of it all

The Outreach Curriculum

inquiring minds

Our curriculum has been designed to inspire students to ask questions, investigate systems, make predictions and design solutions. The curriculum emphasizes the child’s perspective in the process of learning and promotes project based, critical thinking, and collaborative work. Understanding is achieved through discussion and collaboration as a result of the combination of practice and conceptual explanations.
As part of the awareness-raising program for sustainable development and the protection and conservation of an atoll (Teti'aroa), students will be addressing issues of environmental concern, at levels well beyond the requirements of French Polynesia's educational standards. Students will develop an understanding of climate change, the impact of population, water management, energy sources, contamination, conservation, food production, health and nutrition.

A Common Goal

The projects within the units of study all relate to the common goal of designing a community education center, which can only be realized by understanding the complexity of an atoll environment.

Interdisciplinary studies

In order to respond to different interests and styles of learning, each module has a combination of scientific investigations, and activities, books or digital media, games, songs, and legends from the cultural heritage of the region. Each module, even if it is primarily a scientific topic, should be culturally anchored and demonstrate links with the environment, oral language, culture, history and literature (legend?).

Units to fit the needs

Each theme will have several 'a la carte', interdisciplinary modules which emphasize science, history, culture, geography, language, etc., which will be chosen by the teachers before arrival. Teachers should consider the needs of their students as well as the standards which they need to fulfill. Once the modules are chosen, the education team will integrate the lessons in the modules into a logical 'path' of study. Each module provides large group, small group and individual learning experiences.

A presentation as assessment

Presentations are an integral part of the learning process - at the end of the visit, each group can present and share their learning or achievements with the group, as well as interested researchers. Videos of the presentations could be considered the 'assessment', and be used to illustrate our educational program to prospective classes.

Education in the News

What can students discover on Tetiaroa?

Each of our educational experiences start with a historical, cultural, or traditional viewpoint, and offer activities which allow students to compare and contrast traditional technology with modern technology. We hope to encourage students to use innovative thinking and imagination to blend their knowledge of past and present technologies into future solutions.

Discover our Educational Activities