Teachers from Netherlands visit to learn about vocational education

Three teachers from a Netherlands vocational school visited Whittier last week to learn about educational opportunities and programming during a special trip to the U.S.

Educators from Graafschap College -- a regional vocational school that provides education, training and civic integration to more than 9,500 students in the east Netherlands -- visited Whittier on Oct. 25 to meet with administrators and teachers and tour the school. The stop was part of a two-week trip for the Dutch educators, who traveled around the region learning about American schooling before heading back to Europe on Oct. 27.

The group, which included Dorina Steenbergen, Ineke ten Brinke and Aad van den Hoek from Graafschap College, and Director of Pupil Personnel Patricia Lowell and Allied Health Instructor Jane Moskevitz from Whittier, started off their morning with breakfast in Whittier's Poet's Inn restaurant. There, the Dutch visitors had their first take of pancakes with maple syrup, and shared a typical breakfast item -- bread with butter and sprinkles -- with Lowell and Moskevitz.

During a casual breakfast meeting, the five talked about differing and similar programming and educational practices both in their schools and countries as a whole.

"It was great being able to host Dorina, Ineke and Aad for the morning here at Whittier," Ms. Lowell said. "When they initially contacted us for a potential visit, we were thrilled to not only inform them about all the great technical and academic programs going on here at Whittier, but to also learn about how a school of similar nature operates across the globe."

Ms. Brinke, a health assisting teacher, was especially interested in learning about Whittier's new Allied Health Center, while Ms. Steenbergen and Mr. Hoek, both guidance counselors, took an interest in the different courses and pathways available to students. 

"I really wanted to know what the health system is like in America and what the differences are between the Dutch and American systems," Ms. Brinke said. "It's been very nice to see the culture here and the different opportunities for students available at Whittier."

Following breakfast, Ms. Lowell and Ms. Moskevitz led the group on a tour around the school, stopping at the culinary shop, machine technology, carpentry, graphic design, electrical and the school’s new Allied Health Center.

Whittier Tech