2008 Educators' Study Tour to Japan for Middle and High School Educators

June 29 – July 19, 2008

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, Hiroshima.

10 educators have been selected to participate in the 2008 Educators’ Study Tour to Japan.

Tour participants

Julianne Corbalis
Manhattan East School for Arts and Academics (MS 224)

Whitney Davidson
Poly Prep Country Day School

Kelly Donoghue
The New York City Museum School

Christina Gentile
Smithtown High School East

Bridget Grady
Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School

Kelly Hulpa
Hunterdon Central Regional High School

Paula Mills
Harry S. Truman High School

Christopher Vicari
Yonkers International Baccalaureate World School

Britt Williams
Eleanor Roosevelt Intermediate School (IS 143M)

Erica Yonks
The New York City Museum School

Comments from Participants:

About school visits

“What impressed me the most was the number and quality of after school club activities and arts within the school day. It was wonderful to see the manifestation of Japanese culture in schools. It was all useful to get a broader picture of the education system. “
- Britt Williams

About homestay with a Japanese family

“My host family was wonderful, and I am forever grateful for this experience. They treated me like family and I really appreciated their company. I hope that I have made life-long friends in this process. I hope to one day return the favor and pay it forward. “
- Kelly Hulpa

About 2008 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, 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.

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

The study tour acquainted the participants with Japanese society through a wide range of site visits in Tokyo, Aichi, Kyoto, Nara and Hiroshima. A homestay with a family and school visits in Obu-city in Aichi were significant parts of the program. 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, educators had the opportunity to meet Mr. Masahiro Sasaki, an A-bomb survivor in Hiroshima, 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.

Geometry in Kyocho Elementary School, Obu-city

Obu Higashi High school students teach American teachers how to play koto, Obu-city

Lunch with kindergarten children, Araike Nursery School, Obu-city

With Japanese host family, Obu-city

Meeting Abbot Tsutsui at Todaiji Temple, Nara

Gion Festival in Kyoto

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, Japan 1600-1900: From Samurai to Modern Japan 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. 2 of participants' schools have been selected as an alliance partner school with Japan Society to further promote education on Japan.

View the 2006 Leadership in Education Study Tour in Japan

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