Institute for Urban and Minority Education
Teachers College, Columbia University
Teachers College
Columbia University

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RSVP for a Special Guest Lecture with Dr. Shirley Steinberg

IUME is excited to announce that Dr. Shirley Steinberg, Research Professor of Youth Studies at the University of Calgary and Consulting Professor and Director of the Institute of Youth and Community Research at the University of the West of Scotland, will be speaking at Teachers College! Dr. Steinberg has published countless books on youth culture, and her upcoming talk is entitled "Islamic Youth as Political Pawns: Critically Deconstructing Fear and Media.

To RSVP for Dr. Steinberg's lecture, please click here.

IUME Director Ernest Morrell's NCTE Presidential Address Published

IUME Director Ernest Morrell's 2014 NCTE Presidential Address has just been published by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). Morrell served as NCTE President from 2013-2014, and at this year's annual conference in Boston, he gave the annual President Address as a capstone to the conference. Congratulations once again for completing his Presidential year at NCTE and leading--and inspiring--tens of thousands of English teachers nationwide!

Click here
to read the recently published speech on the NCTE website and click here to watch a recorded video of his speech on the IUME YouTube channel.

Learn More About IUME's Literacy Teachers Initiative (LTI) Project

 IUME was excited to announce the launch of the Literacy Teachers Initiative (LTI) Project in spring, 2012. Since then, we have partnered with dynamic elementary and middle school teachers from Harlem and Brooklyn in an effort to collaboratively work toward finding increased pedagogical methods for students. The LTI Project is led by Dr. Jodene Morrell of Teachers College. We have grown in number and ideas each year, received competitive research grants, presented at Teachers College and state, national, and international conferences, and written for publication.

Check out our LTI page for more information and check out the biographies of the Teacher Fellows here!

Welcome to our newest IUME Postdoctoral and Faculty Fellows!

We are excited to welcome our newest group of accomplished and innovative IUME Fellows who will be working with us this year. Our IUME Faculty Fellows include Dr. Brian Lozenski, from Metropolitan State University, and Deron Wallace, from the University of Cambridge. In addition, Teachers College's Minority Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Monique Lane, from the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA), will also be be a part of IUME research this year.

Learn more about them on our Faculty Fellow page and Postdoctoral Fellow page.

Learn More about the Youth Historians in Harlem Program!

The Youth Historians in Harlem (YHH) project, sponsored by IUME, is a new critical approach to teaching history in urban schools in Harlem, focusing on empowering minority youth through their own cultural experiences, involving students in the practice of "doing" history through guided projects, programs, and participatory action research. YHH seeks to increase students' interest in history through innovative and engaging pedagogical approaches that help them become historians, researching the rich historical past of ‘their’ Harlem community. While YHIH seeks to advance the historical knowledge of education in Harlem, above all, our project seeks to make history relevant to urban students and help increase academic achievement. To learn more about this exciting project, visit the official website here.

Subscribe to our IUME YouTube Channel!

Have you visited the official IUME YouTube page recently? Want to learn more about IUME? Make sure to stop by our YouTube page here and watch a few of our videos and subscribe!. Not only do we keep a collection of IUME events and Colloquia, but our video team prepares short clips on critical research. The most recent Beyond Bullying presentation is now available, as is our December Colloquium and other great clips that should be shared!

In our increasingly digital and mutlimodal era, we believe strongly in collaborative educational content, so make sure to check back often and subscribe to your channel.


Announcements > A Recap of the National Bullying Summit with Director Morrell

A Recap of the National Bullying Summit with Director Morrell

On January 14th, 2013, the Institute for Urban and Minority Education partnered with education publishing firm Zaner-Bloser to sponsor a national summit on bullying in schools, entitled "Beyond Bullying." It was a resounding success, with hundreds gathering to discuss this vital topic in schools across the country, seeking to find solutions to negate bullying in schools and promote student wellness. The TC Media Press recently published an article about this event, featuring commentary by IUME Director Ernest Morrell. You can re-direct toward the original article here or read below.

Using Schools to Stop School Bullying

At a national bullying summit held at Teachers College, educators learned that anti-bullying efforts must be embedded in teaching

By Patricia Lamiell

Kirk Smalley, a Perkins, Oklahoma construction worker, was on the job on May 13, 2010 when his phone rang at 2:39 p.m. It was his wife, Laura, screaming uncontrollably. Their son Ty had been sent home from middle school for fighting with at a chronic bully who had picked on him before. But instead of doing his household chores and homework, as his mother had told him to do, Ty, 11, had hanged himself in the couple’s bedroom. In response to Ty’s death, 68 high school students in Oklahoma City, none of whom even knew Ty, created Stand for the Silent (SFS), an international campaign to stop bullying. Smalley serves as a spokesman for the group. He has traveled to 605 schools and as far as Australia to hear about children who committed suicide as a result of being bullied online or in school.

Smalley told his powerful story on January 14 to a rapt audience of about 275 educators in TC’s Cowin Conference Center for  “Beyond Bullying: Safe Schools, Successful Students.” The full-day event, co-sponsored by the academic publishing firm Zaner-Bloser, and TC’s Institute for Urban and Minority Education (IUME), sought to equip educators with effective strategies, for use in their daily instruction, for teaching children to respect themselves and one another, to reach out to intervene when they see bullying, and to stop in-school and online bullying before it happens.

“Nowadays,” Smalley told the audience, “more than reading and writing and arithmetic, I think it’s time we all learned respect for others, tolerance of our differences. You guys out in the trenches, you’ve got to be the ones to go up to that kid and offer a hand of friendship. You can be someone’s hero. You can literally save someone’s life.”

Schoolhouse bullying – ranging from verbal taunting to physical assault – has been a problem since schools were invented, but the advent of cell phones, texting and the Internet have made it more common. In to a poll released last month by Zaner-Bloser, bullying was cited as a top-five concern by 46 percent of middle-school principals 29 percent of elementary principals and 35 percent of high school principals.

While bullying doesn’t always lead to suicide, it often manifests in higher absentee rates and lower grades and test scores. Victims may suffer from lowered self-esteem well into adulthood.

Teachers are well aware of the problem, but many say that with the workload already on their plates, they cannot assume responsibility for teaching basic social skills and civility. Yet conference speakers repeatedly argued that a programmatic approach called “Social-Emotional-Learning,” or SEL, can and must be embedded in daily instruction and become central to a school culture in which bullying is unacceptable.

“This is not adding to the plate, this is the plate,” Ed Dunkelblau, a TC graduate and Director of the Institute for Emotionally Intelligent Learning. Dunkelblau was one of a half-dozen conference speakers that morning who said good SEL programs also provide structure and a process through which students can work out conflicts and misunderstandings. 

“Our job is not only to understand bullying and to stop it, but to reach out to everyone in the school, adult and child alike, and help build the skills that allow them to create a culture and a climate where everyone is safe, everyone will learn,” Dunkelblau said.

Buy-in from the entire school community is critical, said Marc Brackett, Deputy Director of the Health, Emotion, and Behavior Laboratory at Yale – which means that Social-Emotional Learning should be taught to everyone, including parents for use at home.

Sonya Whitaker, Superintendent of Fairmont School District 89 in Lockport, Illinois, agreed, saying schools in her district brought parents in and “taught them explicitly what they could do at home” to promote social intelligence. The effort resulted in a 47 percent reduction in disciplinary infractions.

The benefits of SEL are not just emotional. Dunkelblau and others pointed to research suggesting that thorough integration of SEL into a school’s curriculum and culture can lower absentee rates, raise test scores and graduation rates, improve the social climate and “ultimately rebuild confidence in public education,” said Sheldon Berman, Superintendent of Schools in Eugene, Oregon, adding that “the social-emotional curriculum is as important as the academic curriculum.” Still to get those results, anti-bullying programs require policy support in the form of professional development for teachers, curriculum planning, teacher and student leadership development, administrative mandate and supports, school board support, and recognition of success.

Several school districts represented at the conference offered dramatic examples to support Berman’s contention. Eric Gordon, Chief Executive of the Cleveland, Ohio Public School District, said that, using a research-based program, Cleveland has turned its in-school suspension rooms into planning centers to improve intervention and support. School leaders  have instituted “Not On Our Watch” teams of faculty and students who call out bullying when they see it, and student support teams to intervene if necessary. Gordon said that, according to a recent study, the city has improved learning conditions. Social competence and attentiveness are improving, incident reports, including reports of violence, have decreased, and out-of-school suspensions have fallen as well, Gordon said. 

 Gale Reeves, Superintendent of New York City’s Community School District 5, said in her district, much of the bullying in her district focuses on students’ appearance. So P.S. 154 sought and received a grant to promote total wellness for students and teachers that is aimed at slowing obesity rates. Suspensions have declined there by more than 60 percent, Reeves said. Middle School 186 focuses on leadership development, relationship and communication skills, “so that students know to seek help not only from adults but from each other,” Reeves said.

Other speakers focused on specific academic programs – all aligned with national core curriculum standards – that draw from and, in turn, support Social-Emotional Learning. In this regard, helping students develop their own voice is critical. Catherine Snow and Bob Selman, both professors of education at Harvard, described the “Readers Theatre” technique, in which students write and act out plays about socially challenging topics like bullying. The approach promotes civic engagement as well as literacy development, prompting students to flesh out their own thoughts on an issue, in part by seeing things from others’ points of view.  

IUME’s Director, Ernest Morrell, amplified the idea that using literacy instruction can develop social-emotional skills in young students, particularly those in schools that serve largely minority populations who are often disinterested and feel disconnected from school. For children to be invested in school and in learning to read and write, they must value themselves and come to believe they have something valuable to say, that school is a safe place to say it, and that they have secure attachments to other people and some social awareness, Morrell said. Reading and writing can help reinforce those beliefs. “Helping kids understand and like themselves is a precursor to understanding others. We can do these things in the common core curriculum, in social students, science and math class.”   

By subjecting SEL programs to the rigors of academic research, academics and teachers can discover what works and demystify the process of implementing it in their schools. They can begin to view bullying not as a sad fact of contemporary life, but as a social problem that can be addressed with education. “You’re not born to hate,” Smalley likes to tell audiences. “You have to be taught.”

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