News Archive
Teachers return from Turkey tour
The Press Enterprise, 10.07.2012

Three Inland teachers have returned from Turkey after spending two weeks studying the country through the Turkish Cultural Foundation’s Teacher Study Tour program.

The program is sponsored and organized by the foundation in collaboration with the World Affairs Council of America and its nationwide chapters.

Susan Bean of East Valley High School in Redlands, Shawna Stockberger of Patriot High School in Jurupa Valley and Diana Stiller of Norco High School in Norco will now start to work with the World Affairs Council of Inland Southern California to develop lesson plans about Turkey for their classrooms.

They also will create a fall 2012 “Portraits of Turkey” event series for the public.

Bean, Stockberger and Stiller were among 26 teachers to take part in the first of three study tour trips this summer.

During their time in Turkey, the teachers met with fellow teachers and students, learning about the Turkish educational system at various schools including Darussafaka, a school for orphaned children, the Terakki Foundation School in Istanbul and the Atakoy Elementary School in the village of Karacasu. The latter school has been adopted and is being supported by visiting American teachers from this and previous foundation Study Tours.

The teachers visited numerous cities and villages across the country, beginning in Istanbul, where they toured famous historical sites such as the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, the Spice Bazaar and the Topkapi Palace.

Other highlights of the trip included a visit to Bursa, the first capital of the former Ottoman Empire, where the teachers learned shadow puppet techniques to share with their students, and a trip to Ephesus, where they toured the site of the Celsus Library, one of the richest libraries in the ancient world when built in 117 A.D.

The teachers also visited the archeological excavation of Catalhoyuk, a 7,000-year-old Neolithic settlement, and toured the Cappadocia region, known for its famed landscapes and ancient cave churches. Catalhoyuk has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

With the return of the three tours this summer, the foundation will have introduced 422 American educators to the history, culture and landmarks of Turkey since 2007.

As part of the same collaborative program, nearly 3,000 teachers across the U.S. have attended educational workshops on Turkey held by local World Affairs Councils.