UW-Platteville opens Confucius Classroom at St. Mary Central High School

December 3, 2013
Confucius Classroom

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — On Nov. 22, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and St. Mary Central High School in Neenah, Wis. celebrated the grand opening of a Confucius Classroom at St. Mary Central High School, the first of its kind to be under the administration of the UW-Platteville Confucius Institute. It is the only Confucius Classroom in the Fox Cities and one of only a handful in Wisconsin.

The goal of the classroom is to promote language teaching and cultural recognition for students so that they can learn a second language and work toward becoming global citizens. The classroom resembles an ancient Chinese classroom with low tables and pillows for seating, colorful walls and rich wood accents. A SMART Board will enable the instructor to engage students in learning to read and write Mandarin Chinese with the latest technology.

Highlights of the grand opening included a fashion show featuring traditional Chinese clothing and music from various dynasties, demonstrations by Chinese nationals, and performances by the Mandarin Chinese students, followed by an authentic Qinlin Eye-Opening ceremony with a dancing lion and the unveiling of the brass plaque announcing St. Mary Central High School as the site of a Confucius Classroom.

St. Mary Central High School worked with the UW-Platteville Confucius Institute for the past three years to work through the application process.

“The Confucius Classroom will have a meaningful impact in this region and in the state by providing its students with the knowledge, skills and experiences they need to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation for the magnificent language and culture of China,” said Dr. Kory Wein, associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Education and the newly-appointed executive director of the Confucius Institute at UW-Platteville.

“This classroom will be an excellent model for our efforts to establish additional Confucius Classrooms in school districts in Southwest Wisconsin, including Prairie du Chien and Hazel Green,” added Wein.

The Confucius Institute is a collaborative project among UW-Platteville, the Chinese Language Council International (Hanban) and South-Central University for Nationalities in Wuhan, China. It has been a part of UW-Platteville since 2008 and is a part of an international network of more than 1,000 Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms dedicated to enhancing the understanding of Chinese language and culture around the world. Together with Hanban, the Confucius Institute is the major source of funding for the St. Mary Central High School Confucius Classroom.

Contact: Dr. Kory Wein, associate dean, College of Liberal Arts and Education, (608) 342-1151, weink@uwplatt.edu

Written by: Laurie Hamer, College of Liberal Arts and Education, (608) 342-6191, hamerl@uwplatt.edu



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