University Laboratory School


The University Laboratory School is a public charter school that operates in partnership with the University of Hawaiʻi Curriculum Research & Development Group (CRDG) with an agreement by the Local School Board. The school serves as an experimental site for researching and developing innovations in teaching, learning, and assessment in grades K–12.


The school serves as a model for school design, providing a comprehensive academic program for all students in heterogeneous classes. The school rates high among the state's schools on participation in extracurricular activities. Its students consistently earn awards in competitions in the arts, music, writing, and speech in addition to consistently high scores on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). Almost all of its graduates go on to post-secondary education.


The school is the only one in Hawaiʻi with the mission of supporting educational research and development and disseminating educational materials and improvement strategies. The school has long served the Curriculum Research & Development Group as its real-world laboratory. CRDG programs get their early development and trials in the school's classes. The school is also a site for demonstrating CRDG-developed curricula and providing professional development for teachers. The school is integral to the work and mission of CRDG.


ULS is a special focus school of choice, and parents must be willing to accept the mission of the school and agree that their child will participate fully in all components of the CRDG/ULS research and educational programs.All products produced by students, imagery of all types, and data concerning all Laboratory School students belong to CRDG and may be used for, among other things, research, publication, dissemination, and recordings.


The school serves two interlocking missions: to design and deliver the best possible education to its students, and to serve the educational research and development community as a seedbed and experimental site for curriculum research and development and comprehensive school design.


Features of the University Laboratory School

  • Heterogeneous Student Population
  • Unique School Design
  • Liberal Education
  • Reflective Teaching
  • Research


Heterogeneous student population – The ULS enrolls a cross-section of students who reflect the Hawaii school system’s population in ethnicity, family socio-economic status, and school achievement levels.

Unique school design – The experiment that became the ULS has resulted in a school that create a community of learners through a curriculum that casts all students in the role of authentic practitioners of the disciplines and an intellectual environment that allows every student to excel.

Liberal Education – All students receive a comprehensive academic program while enrolled at ULS.  All students take the same program without segregation or placement in less-demanding courses, on the principle that the best should be available to all.

Reflective Teaching – The school’s instructional methods emphasize direct experience, hands-on activity, and higher order intellectual processes; include experimentation and inquiry, simulations, role-playing, and cooperative learning groups; and use constructivist approaches as well as direct instruction where appropriate.

Research – The school’s relationship with the research and development community makes it possible for us to achieve our mission and vision.  The school supports R&D work contact with each other and with the theoretical and practical elements of schooling.


University Laboratory School is a charter school that serves its diverse student population as well as its research constituency while providing a model for school design that delivers a broad liberal arts education to its students and has compiled an outstanding record of success.

School Profile

University Laboratory School / Curriculum Research & Development Group

On behalf of the University Laboratory School (ULS) and the Curriculum Research & Development Group (CRDG) in the College of Education at the University of Hawai‘i, we have created this packet of readings to help orient you to the history and foundational ideas that guide our CRDG/ULS work.

History and Foundations


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