SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — A group of 10 Springfield-Wittenberg Teacher Institute (SWTI) teaching associates, including eight teachers from the Springfield and Clark County school districts, left yesterday for a 10-day Japan study tour with stops planned in Tokyo, Aizu Wakamatsu, Kyoto and Nagasaki.
Funded by the Freeman Foundation, the tour is intended to broaden the participants’ personal knowledge of the Japanese culture and educational systems.
Once they return, the teaching associates will work with Jeannine Fox, director of graduate studies in education at Wittenberg University, to develop a conference for educators in the Springfield and Clark County area.
“We will plan an educational conference for the summer of 2005 focusing on democratic education and cultural diversity and draw upon what we learn during our travels to Japan,” Fox said. “We also intend to ask the teaching associates traveling to Japan to develop courses to be taught in the Master of Arts in Education program and to serve as resource speakers for undergraduate education courses.”
Teaching associates traveling to Japan include Garry Barhorst of Springfield North High School, Joyce Collier and Sheryl Wineberg of Simon Kenton Elementary, Kathleen Estep of Greenon High School, Elizabeth Coressel from Shawnee High School, Catherine McCurdy of Horace Mann Elementary School, Shelley Davis, a Reading First resource coordinator, and Joseph Lewis, a teacher of multi-handicapped and TBI students in grades 3-5. Wittenberg’s Fox and Susan Welker ’02, admission counselor and Freeman project administrator, will accompany the group.
The group is scheduled for a day of sightseeing in Tokyo and a visit to Aizu Wakamatsu, the countryside of northern Japan. There they will visit a private Catholic school and a public elementary school. Plans also include a day-long excursion to the Bandai area including a visit to the Mt. Bandai volcano museum and a hot springs bath at a local Ryokan.
In the capital city of Kyoto, the group will visit the temple and the Giant Buddha. A school visit in Nagasaki and a visit to the Peace Park, the Atomic Bomb Museum, and a tour of the old international trading town will be featured before they return home.
The teaching associate program of the SWTI focuses on the continuous improvement of teaching and learning. Teaching associates are sponsored by the Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education (FIPSE) and receive a three-year appointment to the education department at Wittenberg University. They are expected to participate actively in the orientation and professional development activities of the program.
To learn more about the Masters in Education program at Wittenberg, call (937) 327-6417, or visit the education department Web site.