John Zurschmiede & Dr. Jasmin (Bey) Cowin present ”Community Asset Mapping and Linguistically Diverse Learners” at the NTSTESOL 52nd Annual Conference, “Shifting Teaching Paradigms: Examining Inclusive and Dynamic Practices,” November 2-5, 2022, White Plains, NY

John Zurscmiede, Touro University, TESOL Program Completer

How can educators better support linguistically diverse students and their families was a question hotly debated in the Touro University bilingual and multicultural education discussion boards by Touro University TESOL teacher candidates. The discussion boards focused on English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teacher praxis’, highlighting the targeted inclusion of asset-based approaches. As a professor leading the discussions, the topic sparked deep reflection, and a goal crystallized: to create and implement an impactful hands-on project. The discussion centered around shifting teaching paradigms towards more inclusive, dynamic practices empowering Multilingual Learners (ML). Teachers often enter their profession unprepared to draw on the strengths and assets that culturally and linguistically diverse students bring to school.  (Elfers, 2013)

Out of the discussion boards grew a book chapter with a former teacher John Zurschmiede, post-degree completion: ACROSS BOUNDARIES: COMMUNITY ASSET MAPPING AND LINGUISTICALLY DIVERSE LEARNERS, in which John Zurschmiede, now a teacher at the Board of Education, at an International school, co-constructed not only a project but also meaning-making in a collaborative space bringing together different dimensions of teacher-learner in two different levels. Level 1: the faculty-teacher candidate, Level 2: The former teacher candidate – his Multilingual Learners. This was an interwoven process that created fertile spaces of intentional collaboration across boundaries resulting in a book chapter in “Supporting Student Success through Community Asset Mapping.”

I am deeply grateful for the collaboration with my former student John Zurschmiede which expanded my horizon as an educator and shifted my teaching paradigms. I experienced that funds of knowledge are not static as we are all life-long learners embedded in the tapestry of our communities, personal histories and experiences which we express through our unique linguistic landscapes.

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.

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