The AFT is offering our teacher members a two week opportunity this summer on a study mission to Germany. One hundred social studies and STEM teachers from the U.S. and Canada will travel to Germany as fellows of the Transatlantic Outreach Program (TOP).
Applications are due by January 30, 2018. Other than informing potential applicants, the AFT has no role in the selection, programing or funding. There are usually about 500 applications for the 100 posts.
Based at the Goethe-Institute in Washington, DC, the TOP team promotes education, dialogue, and experience on topics such as the German school system, German and EU politics, sustainability projects, and corporate social responsibility, as well as culture, history, and geography.
As a central part of their mission, TOP organizes study tours to Germany, providing teachers with first-hand knowledge of the country. To ensure that study tour participants learn about current topics relevant to their curricula, the TOP team has planned activities and meetings for this summer's tours. For example, five groups of social studies teachers will be taking an in-depth look at the situation of refugees in Germany as well as exploring the nuances of Germany's apprenticeship system. One group of STEM teachers will see for themselves what progress has been made in the German Energy Transition as well as explore what career and technical education (CTE) looks like in the German context.
After they return, participants are requested to lead professional development sessions and create original instructional units, which in turn result in new teaching materials based on current events.
Since 2002, nearly 1,400 educators (several AFT members who have brought this to our attention) have traveled to Germany.
TOP is a public/private partnership of the Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Goethe-Institute, Deutsche Bank, Robert Bosch Foundation, and the Siemens Corporation.
Information about the study tours, as well as the application links, can be found at www.goethe.de/topstudytours.
The Fall 2017 newsletter is available digitally on Issuu: https://issuu.com/topteachgermany/docs/top_mgu_fall2017_issuu