T.C. Williams Teacher Participates in Japan-U.S. Teacher Exchange Program
T.C. Williams High School Science Teacher Patrick Earle recently traveled to San Francisco, Calif., as a participant in the Japan-U.S. Teacher Exchange Program for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), hosted by the Japan-U.S. Educational Commission (Fulbright Japan). Earle was selected from a national pool of more than 300 educators to earn this honor. The bi-nationally fully-funded program for U.S. teachers takes place in two parts: a Joint Conference with Japanese teachers in San Francisco, April 29-May 2, and a study tour to Japan, June 19-July 2.
Focused on the theme of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), the program aims to deepen mutual understanding and strengthen the relationship between Japan and the United States, as well as to raise awareness of ESD-oriented school programs and enhance ESD-related curricula in both countries. ESD is "a vision of education that seeks to balance human and economic well-being with cultural traditions and respect for the earth's natural resources," according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Starting April 22, a contingent of 24 Japanese primary and secondary school teacher participants traveled to the United States for a fully-funded two-week study tour of American culture and ESD programs in U.S. schools. Following an orientation program in Washington, D.C., two groups of 12 teachers each spent a week visiting schools and ESD resource sites in Kansas City, MO and Seattle, WA and participated in home stays with American families. From April 29, the Japanese teachers met with 24 competitively selected U.S. teacher counterparts for a four-day Joint Conference in San Francisco. Participating teachers had the opportunity to share their ESD curricula and collaborate with each other to strengthen school activities in four vital areas of ESD focus: food and sustainable nutrition, environment, energy and resources and international understanding and cooperation.
In June 2012, the contingent of U.S. teachers will travel in a reciprocal and fully-funded two-week study tour to Japan, where they will learn about Japanese culture, visit Japanese schools focused on ESD, participate in a home stay and meet again with their Japanese counterparts for three days of workshops and curricular collaboration in Tokyo. Upon their return to the United States, the teachers will share what they have learned through the program, engage in joint projects with counterparts in Japan and the U.S. and implement refined ESD curricula in their home schools.
The Japan-U.S. Teacher Exchange Program for ESD is administered by the Japan-U.S. Educational Commission (Fulbright Japan), with support in the United States from the Institute of International Education in Washington, D.C. It is jointly funded by the Educational and Cultural Affairs Bureau (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State and the Japanese Government's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT).