The Transatlantic Outreach Program (TOP) uses Modern Germany as a basis of comparison and contrast to internationalize Social Studies curriculum as well as to provide international exposure to Social Studies educators in the United States and Canada.
In order to achieve these goals, the Three Pillars of TOP must work in concert:
- Teaching Materials. TOP currently produces four textbooks for the elementary, middle, and secondary levels. These textbooks are authored by American Social Studies professionals and edited by TOP staff. In addition, TOP produces wall maps, videos, and a series of online games.
- Workshops. TOP sponsors hundreds of in-service training workshops every year by providing its educational materials free-of-charge to workshop leaders.
- Study Tours. TOP sends Social Studies educators to Germany every summer on all-expenses-paid study tours, exposing them to the government and education systems, large and small businesses, and various examples of culture. Upon completion of the study tour, educators return to North America to write a unit of learning as well as conduct two in-service training workshops.
Board of Overseers
TOP is a public/private partnership initiative of the Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Goethe-Institut, Deutsche Bank, the Robert Bosch Stiftung, and Siemens. Members from each of the four partners form the Board of Overseers.
The current members of the Board include:
- (Chairman of the Board) Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the United States of America, Washington, D.C.
- Dr. Christoph Bartmann, Goethe-Institut Regional Director for North America, New York, N.Y.
- Dieter Berg, Chief Executive Officer, Robert Bosch Stiftung, Stuttgart, Germany
- Gary Hattem, Director, Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, New York, N.Y.
- Edith Pürschel, Director, Group Communications & Corporate Social Responsibility, Deutsche Bank, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
- Klaus P. Stegemann, Chief Financial Officer, Siemens Corporation