The twenty-four U. S. teachers who visited Japan from June 19 in the ESD(Education for Sustainable Development) Exchange Program left Japan on July 2 after completing their fruitful two-week stay.
During their one-week host city program in either Ohda City, Shimane prefecture, or Minamata City, Kumamoto prefecture, they deepened mutual understanding through exchanges with their Japanese counterparts and students, and learned ”best practices” of ESD while focusing this year on environmental education and world heritage education.
They reconvened in Tokyo for the Second Joint Conference (June 28-30) where they met again with the 24 Japanese teachers who had visited the U. S. in spring this year. Utilizing the network established in the program, the participants discussed possibilities of Japan-US cooperation in ESD in small groups, as well as working on future action plans to take back home. Six program alumni assisted the participants to organize joint projects.
On the last day of the conference, groups consisting of teachers from both countries introduced their joint projects, including; a Japan-U.S. comparison of bento (lunch boxes); Correlation of energy consumption and happiness; Water quality reseach; Japan-U. S. picture book production, and Mosaic art. The projects presented at the conference will make some achievements in the next half-year to one-year, and it is also expected that joint projects will continue or expand in the years to come.