Sometimes first-hand experience is the best teacher. That’s why the Toyota International Teacher Program has been providing international, hands-on development opportunities to U.S. secondary school teachers since 1998. Given the increasing importance of environmental issues worldwide, the program is designed to better prepare teachers to advance environmental stewardship and global connectedness in their classrooms, schools and across their communities. Each year, the program sends educators overseas for 2-3 week study tours in countries at the forefront of innovative solutions to environmental challenges.
The program began in 1998 as a partnership between the Institute of International Education, the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, and Toyota. Since then, it has sent more than 600 teachers on journeys to places as diverse as Japan, Costa Rica, and the Galapagos Islands. In 2011, the program’s inaugural visit to South Africa hosted 24 educators who were still able to teach their students here in the U.S. through social media-based virtual classrooms provided by Toyota.