The Japan-U.S. Teacher Exchange Program for ESD is designed to introduce U.S. educators to Japan and the Japanese educational system and to promote Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) initiatives in both countries.
U.S. applicants for the Japan-U.S. Teacher Exchange Program for ESD must:
- Hold teaching certificates and/or have the equivalent credentials to teach at their schools.
- Be employed full-time as teachers or administrators at primary or secondary level (grades K-12) schools or school districts. Please note that auxiliary personnel (nurses, social workers, guidance counselors, speech pathologists, etc.), as well as university professors, are NOT eligible. Successful candidates must be employed in education for at least one year following their participation in the program.
- Be a U.S. citizen at the time of application.
- Reside in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia or a U.S. territory or protectorate.
- In principle, not have had a similar experience in Japan (i.e., teaching in or visiting Japanese schools), including prior participation in the Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund (JFMF) Teacher Program, with the exception of JFMF educators who demonstrate compelling programmatic responsibilities and/or experience in ESD.
In addition to the above requirements, applicants should demonstrate the following:
- Commitment to producing substantive ESD-related curricula, including that which is related to international understanding, during and after the program.
- Commitment to remaining active in the field of education as a primary or secondary school teacher or administrator in order to share experiences gained through the program on a long-term basis (at least 2–3 years) in the classroom, school, and community. In order to ensure that recipients will remain engaged in primary or secondary education, the program encourages applications from educators with at least three years of experience and at least three years from retirement. Teachers and administrators with only one or two years of experience, as well as those nearing retirement, should demonstrate how they intend to remain in the profession.
- Experience implementing school activities related to sustainability and a serious professional interest in developing curricula for ESD.
- Serious academic/professional interest in curriculum development, teaching methodologies and/or projects and activities related to Japan and ESD.
- Serious interest in international exchange, including Japan-U.S. exchange, as a component of ESD activities.
- Familiarity with or willingness to use internet-based applications (including email, Google Groups or other social media) to connect and communicate with current and past years' participants. Program participants are expected to plan and develop collaborative ESD-themed curricula during the program and to remain in contact with program partners while the projects are conducted in home schools for a period of six months or longer after the program concludes.
- Personal adaptability and flexibility, sensitivity to group dynamics, and the ability to be a team player as demonstrated by the applicant's recommendations from supervisor(s) or other education professionals.
- Good health and ability to submit a medical self-evaluation form.