Kūlaniākea provides a culture-based curriculum using the Montessori philosophy and method that emphasizes the development of the whole keiki; intellectual, physical, social, emotional, and spiritual. The program is characterized as:

-      An environment rich in Hawaiian language and culture

-      Loving, nurturing and safe

-      A prepared environment that is keiki-centered and responsive

- Learning activities that are spontaneous, dynamic, and self directed

-      Hands on experience with materials

-      Intrinsic motivation and freedom within limits

-      Mixed age grouping that stresses cooperation and collaboration in a peaceful, ʻohana setting

The keiki’s natural sense of wonder, exploration, discovery, independence, and concentration are nurtured in the classroom. The program moves the keiki through concrete experiences. At the concrete level, a keiki observes and classifies natural phenomena. The Hawaiian proverb, “ma ka hana ka ʻike” (in doing one learns) describes this concrete experience. In the classroom, culture-based curriculum is integrated in all content areas. The integrated curriculum includes voyaging, way-finding and exploration.