Education & Family

2009 Educators' Study Tour to Japan for Middle and High School Educators

10 educators were selected and participated in the 2009 Educators’ Study Tour to Japan.

2009 Tour Participants
  • Dorothy Bauhoff - Studio art, art history, Gotham Professional Arts Academy (Brooklyn, NY)
  • John Ciferni - Social Studies, Madison Junior High School (Madison, NJ)
  • Adrienne Husney - Global Studies, Bayside High School (Bayside, NY)
  • Deborah Isom - Assistant Principal, Queens Gateway Health Sciences Secondary School (Jamaica, NY)
  • Joel Lowy - Assistant Principal, NYC Museum School (New York, NY)
  • Christopher Lundgren - World History, Poly Prep Country Day (Brooklyn, NY)
  • Dalienne Majors - Dance, Berkeley Carroll School (Brooklyn, NY)
  • Darlene H. Miller - Principal, NYC Museum School (New York, NY)
  • Tim Needles - Fine Arts and Media, Smithtown High School East (St. James, NY)
  • Kyong Joo Pak - Global History, MLK High School for Law, Advocacy and Community Justice (New York, NY)

About 2009 Educators' Study Tour of Japan
The Educators' Study Tour to Japan offers educators the opportunity to travel to Japan for three weeks to experience Japan first hand and bring their experiences back to the classroom. The program is open to middle and high school educators, librarians and school administrators (Principals and Assistant Principals only), and includes a study tour to Japan in June-July, and orientation during the spring prior to departure for the cost of $500.

Of key importance in the application process is the clear demonstration of a firm commitment by the participants and their school administration to foster and sustain education on Japan in their school as an alliance partner with Japan Society.

7 full-time classroom teachers who teach about Japan as an area of instruction and 3 school administrators were selected for the program through a competitive process. Priority was given to interdisciplinary teams of two educators from the same school.

Highlights

The study tour acquainted the participants with Japanese society through a wide range of site visits in Tokyo, Aichi, Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima and Wakayama. A homestay with a family and school visits in Obu-city in Aichi were significant parts of the program. An additional homestay with farmers in Arida-City in Wakayama offered the participants a first-hand opportunity to be familiar with Japan’s agricultural family lifestyle. The tour focused on K-12 school visits in Obu-city to help participants have a better understanding of Japan's education system by meeting their counterparts in Japanese schools. In addition, the group also visited a newly established integrated secondary public school (chu ko ikkan ko) in Urawa-city in Saitama and met a group of city councils. During a visit to Hiroshima, educators had the opportunity to meet two Hiroshima A-Bomb survivors. One survivor is Mr. Masahiro Sasaki, who is also known as an older brother of Sadako Sasaki whose 1,000 paper cranes have become a symbol of calling for international peace. Another survivor is Mr. Tsugio Ito, who lost two family members in two world tragedies – he lost his older brother in the Hiroshima bombing in 1945 and his son at World Trade Center, NY, during the 9.11 terrorist attacks in 2001. The group also had a chance to meet Mayor of Hiroshima City and shared views on a variety of ways to teach Hiroshima and Pacific War in schools in the U.S.

Preparation, Orientation & Follow-up

A multi-part orientation during the spring consisting of: an introductory meeting and dinner; five days of intensive academic training; four days of language training; and a final one-day discussion session about travel arrangements. Academic training included a 30-hour professional development course on Japanese history, Early Japanese History: From Ethnogenesis through Medieval Times and a 2 week-end crash course on basic Japanese language classes.

Participants attended all required orientation sessions at Japan Society and submitted a written teaching unit based on their experiences in Japan. Japan Society continues to work with NYC Museum School, one of the tour participants' schools that have been selected as an alliance partner school with Japan Society, to further promote education on Japan.

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