The Mathematics Education Study Abroad Program has been to Peru (in 2007 and 2009 and upcoming in 2015) and China (in 2011 and 2013). This faculty-led program offers a focus on mathematics education in other cultures, including the nature of mathematics and mathematical behavior, and theories and issues in the teaching and learning of mathematics. These study abroad experiences have provided UW Oshkosh students and future mathematics teachers with a powerful means for viewing our culture and norms with respect to mathematics and education in contrast with those of other cultures.
Mathematics Education in Peru
with faculty leaders Jen Szydlik and Eric Kuennen
Spring Interim 2015
The last part of the trip we will spend travelling. We will fly to the Amazon rainforest, will stay in a jungle lodge, visit an indigenous community and school, hike and boat through the rainforest and have excellent opportunities to see monkeys, parrots, and more! Then we will travel through the Andes mountains to Cusco, home of the Incas. In Cusco, we will explore spectacular Incan ruins, visit Andes highlands towns and schools, and hike part of the old Incan trail all the way to Machu Picchu, one of the new seven wonders of the world.
The course offered is Math 430/746 in which we will study the nature of mathematics, and discuss mathematics pedagogy, and the research literature on student learning of elementary and middle grades mathematics. We will also study U.S. curricula and standards, compared and contrasted to the curriculum in Peru. Through field trips to local elementary and middle schools, program participants will experience mathematics education in Peru firsthand.
As a part of their coursework, students will do a curriculum project that will include teaching mathematics in Peruvian middle school classrooms. It is not necessary for program participants to speak Spanish.
To get a great taste of what our trip will be like, please see the excellent Beyond Classroom Walls Report on our previous trip to China, and the
Past Participant Testimonials (from our previous trips to Peru and China):
"Unforgettable and enlightening. It really gave me a better perspective towards life and what I should be thankful for."
"My favorite part of the trip would be visiting the schools. I think that going as an education major it really showed me the differences between our school systems. I also really liked trying the different foods and just being immersed in the different culture."
" It was an awesome experience to go in front of a class of students that don't speak your language. That was the first of many times in my life where I will have a student that doesn't speak English and I will have to learn to communicate and teach the student."
"I would absolutely recommend this trip. You can travel, get a new perspective on the world, and make new friends all at once. The Math Ed. trip is a unique opportunity to learn about math while in another culture. You also get to sightsee amazing places."
"I would most definitely recommend this trip to future math educators. Not only do you get the study abroad experience, but you get to see mathematics education from a different perspective and broaden your own horizon for teaching in the future. You also have an experience of a lifetime, touring and exploring another country mostly unlike our own and meet some amazing and incredible people, that may become lifelong friends"
"Today, cultures are becoming more intertwined and this fact impacts the classroom. As a result, I think it is important for teachers to realize what type of impact culture plays on the classroom. Although people can get this understanding from reading, I think seeing it first hand plays more of an impact".
“I learned more than I thought I would. Not only just about math in the classrooms, but I learned about the people there and the culture. I’ve known all along that I wanted to be a teacher, but really this experience opened up my eyes the greater things I can do in a classroom … how much of an impact I can have on these kids.”
"It is hard to pick my favorite parts of the trip because I had so much fun."
"I couldn't have asked for a better trip. Don't just consider going, make sure to go! This is an experience of a lifetime."
Target Student Groups:
- Mathematics Minors for Elementary and Middle School Programs
- Mathematics Majors or Minors with a Secondary Education Emphasis
- Mathematics Education graduate students and current teachers looking for new experiences or continuing credits
- Global Educator Certificate Program students
- The program will be offered every other year (2015, 2017 etc.) though the location may change for future trips.