Touro College GSE TESOL Candidate Jason Madrick on Sociopolitical Contexts of Multicultural Education in Public Education for Course EDPN-671

In synchronous online courses discussion boards are in integral part of student analysis and peer cross-pollination. Touro TESOL Candidate Jason Madrick submitted a thoughtful, reflective, exemplary discussion board contribution for the course Theory and Practice of Bilingual and Multicultural Education EDPN-671.

In synchronous online courses discussion boards are an integral part of student analysis and peer cross-pollination. Touro TESOL Candidate Jason Madrick submitted a thoughtful, reflective, exemplary discussion board contribution for the course Theory and Practice of Bilingual and Multicultural Education EDPN-671. This course reviews the impact of historical, legal, sociological, and political issues in relationship to the education of culturally and linguistically diverse students. It is designed to prepare bilingual and ESOL teachers to work successfully with language minority students, in the context of bilingual ESL programs. It includes the study of the historical, psychological, social, cultural, political, theoretical and legal foundations of bilingual education programs in the United States. Students will examine and analyze different bilingual program models so that they may apply such knowledge to the implementation of pedagogically effective practices for second language learners using both the L1 and the L2 in curriculum implementation. Communication with parents and families concerning students’ academic and social outcomes will be highlighted. The course supports Touro College’s commitment to preparing educational professionals to work in diverse urban and suburban settings. Students explore the evolution of attitudes regarding bilingualism and multiculturalism in the United States. Emphasis is placed on developing multicultural competence as educators, with areas of focus including cross-cultural communication in the classroom and with parents; how the language and culture of the home and the community impact student learning; cultural factors in the relationships between the school and the community. Models of multicultural and bilingual education will be presented and analyzed. Includes 10 hours of fieldwork.

Jason Madrick was born and raised in Queens, NY. He has been an illustrator, musician, and overall creative person. Mr. Madrick is graduate of Syracuse University with BA degrees in Biology and Anthropology and minors in Sociology and Education. He has taught as a substitute teacher in public elementary schools in Queens, and then in the UPK program for more than a decade combined. Jason Madrick wrote: “I look forward to embarking on the next stage of my career in education being employed by the NYC DOE this coming fall and using my artistic and musical talents, love of reading, nature, science and more to convey and hopefully instill a love of learning in my future students.”

The Discussion Board prompts are in Italic

In your own words, provide a brief summary (4-6 sentences) of one of the major concepts presented in Chapter 1: Affirming Diversity, The Sociopolitical Context of Multicultural Education. Seventh Edition, Pearson, New York (Nieto, Sonia & Bode, Patty,2018). You may select any concept within the chapter. Choose one that you find unique, interesting, and/or worthy of intellectual discussion.

Jason Madrick : In the last section of Chapter One of our text “Affirming Diversity: The Sociopolitical Context of Multicultural Education” by Sonia Nieto and Paddy Bode, one of the concepts that caught my attention was the influence of private industry in public schools, and the heavy focus on high stakes standardized testing. These testing practices had grown out of the policies and curriculum changes that can be linked back to the publication of the “A Nation at Risk” in 1983. (Nieto & Bode, 2018). From there, the No Child Left Behind Act or NCLB continued this trend of focusing on high stakes testing, and the links between private industries and charter schools in particular is alarming in the enormous influence they have on our public education system in the United States. The “testing industrial complex” (Nieto & Bode, 2018) is a term I had not heard before reading this chapter, but it seems incredibly accurate to me based on my own observations and experiences with the company who has published every text book I have used so far in graduate school, Pearson. Pearson is also the same company I had to gather and input data for during my recent teaching experiences in the UPK program. Described in this chapter as a “monstrous carnivore” that devours public school funding, (Nieto & Bode, 2018) Pearson, I think is just one example of the many private companies whose quest for profits is in direct conflict with the noble goals of public education.

Provide a brief discussion/introduction/explanation of the sociopolitical context of your school environment. If you don’t currently work in a school, you may choose to discuss your workplace or school that you attended. Provide some background information so that others can build an understanding of your specific environment.

Jason Madrick: I am currently not teaching during this school year, but I would like to discuss the sociopolitical context of the two schools I worked at through the UPK program. The first of these schools was located in Whitestone, Queens, and the second location was in Jamaica, Queens. I think my familiarity with those schools is more up to date than my own elementary school experiences, though the memories and details of those years are still very much intact. The first school where I taught in the UPK program was located in Whitestone, Queens in what I would classify as a middle class to upper middle class, to wealthy in terms of economic resources for the area and families of students who attended this school. There was even a golf course and country club located within walking distance of the school. The population of the school included students from several different cultural backgrounds including White, African-America, Latino, and Asian students. Religious faiths represented among the student and family populations included Christianity, Judaism, Muslim, and Athiest/Agnostics. The languages spoken by students included English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese. The majority of the teaching and administrative staff at this school was predominantly White and from a middle to upper middle class background. There were four general education UPK classrooms at this school.

The second school location that I was teaching in UPK was located in Jamaica, Queens. This school was predominantly a 4410 program, with a dozen special education classrooms, but had created four to five integrated UPK classrooms in their basement. These integrated classes were meant to be populated by half general education students, and half special education students. The cultural and religious backgrounds of the students and families at this school was predominantly Latino, Southeast Asian, and African-Americans. There were also White and Asian students present in the program as well. The economic background of many of the families based on my limited observations as well as limits of communication due to language differences at this school I think definitely represented a larger proportion of lower income families, including those who were on public assistance and/or homeless. Religious faiths at this school included Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindu, and Atheist/Agnostics. There were multiple languages spoken by students at home including English, Spanish, Chinese, Bangali, Punjabi, and Urdu. Among the staff including lead teacher and teaching assistants there are a number of languages spoken besides English including Spanish, Arabic, Bangali, Punjabi, Urdo, Chinese, and Russian. One observation and big difference I noticed between these two schools I taught at was the huge increase in absences and habitual lateness of students at this second location compared to the school in Whitestone. I had some students from the two classes I taught at this school that had missed more than a third of the total scheduled days of class.

Comment on one of the videos presented in this week’s readings. This is slightly flexible, but have fun with it. Choose something within the video to discuss here in this board. It could be something you enjoyed learning, something you disagree with, or something that sparked curiosity.

Jason Madrick: I enjoyed watching the Ted Talk video featuring Elijah Jones on Diverse Education for a student in the Education System, TEDxYouth@Wilmington. Elijah is a student at a private school and spends much of his talk discussing how socioeconomic matters have a significant impact on the resources, both materials and instructional talent that are available to students depending on where the live and their economic means. Ultimately he speaks about how our public school system has become increasingly segregated along racial and socioeconomic lines. At one point he mentions that at his private school, there weren’t any “teachers of color” and that he felt like he was “definitely not in Kansas anymore”. His private school had given him access to top level resources, teachers and extracurricular activities. He laments that what it does not provide him with is a substantial level of diversity among his peers, and that this is not going to be helpful for his future. This future he discusses is the one in which the population of students in the USA is rapidly changing both along cultural and ethnic lines, but also along economic ones. He states at one point that recently, and for the first time, more than half of all school age children are from low income families. Elijah continues to speak towards the ideal that to live in an increasingly multicultural society, he, and other students need and should be exposed to a diverse student population, as well as being able to have access to proper learning resources and instructors. He also says that for race relations and divisions among the people of this country to improve, that discussions and opportunities to talk about these relations and problems need to continue.


Nieto, Sonia & Bode, Patty (2018). Affirming Diversity. The Sociopolitical Context of Multicultural Education. Seventh Edition, Pearson, New York

Author: drcowinj

Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs only to the people who prepare for it today,” determined Malcolm X at the O.A.A.U.’s [Organization of Afro-American Unity] founding forum at the Audubon Ballroom. (June 28, 1964). (X, n.d.) Dr. Jasmin Bey Cowin a Fulbright Scholar, SIT Graduate, completed the Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP™) at Columbia University, Teachers College. Dr. Cowin served as the President of the Rotary Club of New York and Assistant Governor for New York State; long-term Chair of the Rotary United Nations International Breakfast meetings; and works as an Assistant Professor at Touro College, Graduate School of Education. Dr. Cowin has over twenty-five years of experience as an educator, tech innovator, entrepreneur, and institutional leader with a focus on equity and access to digital literacy and education in the Sub-Saharan Africa region. Her extensive background in education, administration, not-for-profit leadership, entrepreneurial spirit, and technology innovation provide her with unique skills and vertical networks locally and globally. Dr. Cowin participates fully in the larger world of TESOL academic discipline as elected Vice President and Chair-Elect for the New York State, NYS TESOL organization, for the 2021 conference. Ongoing research, expressed in scholarly contributions to the advancement of knowledge is demonstrated through publications, presentations, and participation in academic conferences, blogging, and other scholarly activities, including public performances and exhibitions at conferences and workshops. Of particular interest to her are The Blockchain of Things and its implications for Higher Education; Current Global Trends in TESOL; Developing Materials and Resources in Teaching English; E-learning; Micro and Macro-Methodologies in TESOL; E-Resources Discovery and Analysis; and Language Acquisition and the Oculus Rift in VR.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: