This year again, the Asia-Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO (ACCU) organised the Japan-U.S. Teacher Exchange Program for ESD, which is administered by Fulbright Japan (the Japan-U.S. Educational Commission).
From 23 April to 7 May 2011, 48 selected Japanese teachers visited U.S. They first participated in plenary meeting in Washington D.C., and then they were divided into 3 groups and visited Burlington, Vermont, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Albuquerque, New Mexico respectively. After group visits, they assembled again in San Francisco for a joint conference with U.S. teachers who will be visiting Japan in June-July and attended lectures and participated in discussions with fruitful results.
And from 22 June to 5 July, 48 U.S. teachers visited Japan under the program. After having lectures about Japanese school education and recent educational reform in orientation in Kobe, they were divided into 3 groups and visited Kanazawa City in Ishikawa Pref., Soja City in Okayama Pref. and Nagasaki Pref.. Through visits to elementary and secondary schools, universities, and ESD related institutes and sites in host cities, they learned about ESD activities in Japan, and shared experiences and expertise with their counterparts. They also had opportunities to be exposed to Japanese culture through home stay when they visited the host cities.
After the one-week group visits, both Japanese and U.S. teachers assembled again for the Joint Conference in Kobe, and 8 Japanese teachers who had visited U.S. in last year’s program, also attended the conference, sharing experiences and ideas. All the participants discussed possibilities of Japan-U.S. cooperation in ESD and made action plans to take back home.