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Magnet Teacher to Visit Schools in Japan


A teacher at a La Crescenta magnet high school will travel to Japan next month as part of an intensive program aimed at giving educators an in-depth look at the country and its people.

John Laue, who teaches U.S. history, English and psychology at Anderson W. Clark Magnet High School with Emphasis on Science and Technology, said he is looking forward to seeing Japanese schools and businesses up close for the first time.

"We'll have a chance to see how their public school system approaches subjects like psychology, whether it's offered and what kind of curriculum they use," said Laue, 53, of Sunland. "It will also be interesting to see how they integrate technology and computers into the classroom."

Fifty teachers, including seven from Southern California, will participate in the Toyota International Teacher Program, which is open to high school teachers in California, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri and West Virginia, the six states where the car maker operates major facilities. Toyota spends $550,000 a year on the program, which was established in 1998.

During the 14-day trip that begins June 8, teachers will hear lectures from top Japanese scholars, government officials and business executives and visit schools, commercial districts, factories, historical sites and even a Sumo wrestling practice.

Laue plans to use his two-day visit to Hiroshima to develop a curriculum focusing on how the city has recovered in the nearly 55 years since the United States dropped an atomic bomb. He also wants to start a sister school program in which students at the La Crescenta school can communicate with Japanese students via e-mail.

And how will he incorporate his experiences into his psychology class?

"I'm not sure, but I'll figure out a way," he said.

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