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Japanese Science Teachers Exchange

In October 2017 ASTA will be taking a delegation of passionate science teachers to JAPAN. The delegation will depart Sydney on Sunday 1 October and return to Sydney on Monday 9 October 2017.

Absorb the rich culture, improve your intercultural understanding and forge new professional connections with organisations and individuals.

Our new partnership with Latitude Travel has allowed ASTA to extend this opportunity to more Australian science teachers.


What is the ASTA Science Teachers Exchange to Japan?

The ASTA Science Teacher Exchange-Japan provides an opportunity for secondary and primary Science teachers from Australia to travel to Japan and absorb the rich culture, improve their intercultural understanding and forge new professional connections with international organisations and individuals.

The 2017 ASTA- Japan Science Teachers Exchange is supported by our new partner, Latitude Travel.

Teachers will be given the opportunity to observe Japanese primary and secondary science classes, including a Super Science School, and lead classes of their own (with an interpreter) as a guest teacher. Delegates will also take part in forums with Japanese teachers to exchange ideas and practices and discuss the differences and similarities between Japanese and Australian science education.

Tours also include personalised visits to amazing Japanese cultural and scientific icons such as:

  • The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation – MIRAIKAN
  • The Sensoji Temple 
  • Edo Tokyo Museum.
  • The National Museum of Nature and Science.
  • Sony Corporation's exclusive showroom (not open to the public).

The Australian Curriculum for Science requires students to develop understanding and skills relating to Asia. For many Australian teachers of science, this is a new and challenging lens through which to deliver the curriculum.

The Exchange achieves these objectives by:

  • Bridging the cultural divide: Delegates integrate into Japanese school activities including teaching classes, attending ceremonies, sharing meals and participating in events celebrating traditional Japanese culture and tradition.
  • Highlighting different models of professional learning and teaching: Delegates participate in school cluster meetings with school principals, head teachers, members of the Sony Science Teachers Association (SSTA), parents and student teachers. These meetings will discuss and exchange ideas relating to teaching, curriculum, pedagogy, teacher professional development and projects/initiatives that have positively impacted student learning and engagement.
  • Sharing ideas and practice: Science concepts that are difficult to teach will be a primary focus in 2015. Also new to the 2015 program, Australian teachers will lead discussions on new approached to science inquiry.
  • Providing new experiences: Delegates visit a range of schools, including a unique Super Science School, and institutions like Miraikan and JAXA.

Applications for the 2017 program will open in early April.


The 2016 Exchange

ASTA would like to congratulate Cos Longo, Megan Hayes and Brett McKay, who will be accompanying ASTA President Anne Disney and CEO Vic Dobos on the 2016 Exchange.

Cos Longo teaches students from Reception to Year 7 at Our Lady of Hope, Greenwith in South Australia. He is hoping that the exchange will enrich and equip him with new ways to engage, motivate and stimulate his students.  "I would come back with a different insight for the teaching of Science having seen this through the eyes of a new culture and pedagogy," he said.

Megan Hayes is a dedicated STEM teacher at Mudgeereba Creek State School in Queensland. Megan hopes the Exchange will allow for the creation of networks that will improve her own skills through the sharing of teaching and learning ideas from local and international teachers of Science. The skills she learns will then be used to create innovative programs for her students.

Brett McKay is the Head of the Department at Kirrawee High School in New South Wales.  Kirrawee High supports an annual student exchange with two Japanese schools and Brett believes the Exchange will allow him to better understand the techniques that Japanese students are used to in instruction and to develop our lessons to enhance their own exchange program. "Our students discuss on return from their exchange ideas that they have experienced in lessons in Japan. This exchange will enable me to have a better understanding of the techniques used in Japan and apply them with our students, so there is a better continuum of learning," he said.

You can follow Cos, Megan and Brett's experience on our blog or via the twitter hashtag #ASTAJapan

To view the Media Release 'Aussie teachers visit Japan to transform their STEM teaching' please see below file.

Media Release
Media Release

Further Information