# The Midwest in the Far East: UWO Math Education Study Abroad

By Tom Hanaway

## The Universal Language of Math

### A Class Act

UW Oshkosh math graduate student Ami Messner stands in front of 40 silent Chinese ninth-graders at the Hangzhou Foreign Languages School, about to begin her stint as a guest math instructor.

“Good morning,” Messner said in English.

From the Chinese students, no response. A few hazard a giggle.

“Let’s try this again,” Messner said with a smile. “Good morning.”

This time, the students stand as a unit. “Good morning!” they respond.

Then they bow, and the math lesson begins.

Messner is one of 17 math education students from UW Oshkosh who spent three weeks in China to learn about different methods of teaching math and to experience firsthand another culture. The China trip is part of the four-week upper-division course International Comparative Mathematics Education Seminar: Math Education in China. The first week of class was held in Oshkosh where students studied theories and practices of teaching and learning.