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

Skip to navigation menu

Skip to main content


Recapping the 2nd Annual Edmund Gordon Lecture

In collaboration with the Program in History and Education at Teachers College as well as the Center on History and Education, IUME wass excited to highlight the "Educating Harlem" lecture series in 2014-2015, which is part of a larger initiative to better explore the forces that shaped education in Harlem. Esteemed scholar, Dr. Vanessa Siddle Walker, kicked off this year's lecture series at the 2nd Annual Edmund Gordon Lecture. Make sure to check out our Photo Gallery for pictures from this event!

The lecture concluded the Educating Harlem public conference, which was being held prior, with the goal of discussing the history of education in Harlem by bringing together leading voices in the history of education field. For more information about the Educating Harlem conference, click here.

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.


A Historic Evening at the Inaugural Edmund Gordon Lecture

On October 10th, 2013, IUME, in co-sponsorship with the Program in History and Education, hosted Professor Charles M. Payne who delivered the Inaugural Edmund Gordon Address at Teachers College in honor of IUME Founder and legendary figure Dr. Edmund Gordon. The address entitled, “Whatever Happened to the Negro Question? Educational Discourse and the Lost Question of Race”, drew a standing-room-only audience of nearly 200 to Milbank Chapel and helped illustrate how historical understanding is crucial for thinking about contemporary school improvement. In his address, Dr. Payne presented a broad critique of the educational community’s modern perceptions and attitudes towards school achievement, poverty, and race.

Click here to view the lecture on the IUME YouTube channel and here for pictures.

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.

Subcribe to the new IUME Newsletter!

In 2013-2104, IUME redesigned its monthly newsletter in a way that not only increases dissemination, but most importantly, better shares all the events and news with the world. The newsletter is available in PDF format, but also available via hard copy at the IUME office at Teachers College. Make sure to subscribe to the newsletter and e-mail list on the bottom right-hand side of this IUME homepage.

For more information and to download/view past IUME newsletters, click 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


Upcoming Events


Announcements > Dr. Ernest Morrell Appointed New IUME Director

Dr. Ernest Morrell Appointed New IUME Director

A New Leader at IUME 

Ernest Morrell will lead TC's signature urban institute into a new era

Dr. morrel top picTeachers College has appointed Ernest Morrell as the new director of its Institute for Urban and Minority Education (IUME). Morrell previously was on the faculty in the Urban Schooling Division of the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). He has assumed a tenured full professorship at TC and the directorship of IUME offices, succeeding the Institute's founding director, Edmund W. Gordon.

"His appointment is an important event for TC, and we are fortunate to be bringing such a talented leader to our academic community," said Provost and Dean Thomas James.

Morrell has made his mark in higher and secondary education in Los Angeles and beyond. At UCLA, he has done research and teaching in the fields of literacy, critical pedagogy, cultural studies, urban education and ethnic studies. As Associate Director of UCLA's Institute for Democracy, Education, and Access (IDEA), he has worked with high school students in Los Angeles on in-school and out-of-school literacy instruction, cultural studies, and civic involvement. Through IDEA he has taken busloads of teenage students to the state capital, Sacramento, to lobby for more state support of education. 

Morrell's interest in urban minority education was a natural progression from a childhood spent mostly in Oakland, California, where his mother taught school and his father was a preacher. Morrell earned his bachelor's degree in English at the University of California at Santa Barbara, and returned to Oakland to teach high school English and coach. While earning a doctorate in language, literacy and culture at neighboring Berkeley, he developed a scholarly interest in school reform and community engagement in education. Since then, he has worked to discover what teaching methods work for urban and minority students -- and, he said in a recent interview, "what would this effective pedagogy look like in context? What would make it more possible, what do teachers, schools of education, and policymakers need to do?"  

These are questions that IUME has been asking since its creation in 1973. The Institute's founding premise was that, in order to succeed on par with their wealthier peers, urban minority children need excellent teaching and extra, out-of-school supports to compensate for deficiencies in their environment. An important mandate at IUME was to research how race, gender, language, and social and economic class affected learners, and then use the research to powerfully influence curriculum, pedagogy and student assessment. During the 1980s, IUME was the largest research and development unit of Teachers College, taking in substantial federal and private dollars. More important, it was TC's face in Harlem.

Professor Edmund W. Gordon, Founder and Director Emeritus of IUME expressed enthusiasm for the appointment. 

"Professor Ernest Morrell is an excellent choice for appointment as the next Director of IUME," Dr. Gordon said. "I have known Dr. Morrell since he served as a post- doctoral fellow in a program that I directed some ten years ago. Ernest showed great promise at that time. He has gone on to distinguish himself as a teacher, as a scholar and as an activist. His research interests complement the IUME mission. Morrell is a smart, gentle and powerful presence. Teachers College is fortunate to be able to attract him from UCLA."

Gordon moved to Yale in 1979, opening the director's seat to a series of scholars including Dorothy Strickland, Joseph Grannis, Francisco Rivera-Batiz and Erwin Flaxman. As the institute grew, it began offering technical assistance to schools and districts that were responding to legal desegregation mandates, or helping them reduce bias in the curriculum, testing, classroom and school organization, and interpersonal relations. As a TC-based institute, IUME also prepared TC students to teach in urban settings.

Gordon returned as director in 2001 having established himself as one of the first academics to focus on the achievement gap between students of color and immigrants, and their higher-achieving European or Asian-American peers, and on the impact of out-of-school, supplementary instruction and learning.

With offices on 125th Street in Harlem, the institute to this day has the same central goal:  to understand and uncouple the relationship between a person's assigned social group and education outcomes. IUME continues to conduct scholarly research into identifying the characteristics and life conditions of high academic achievers among ethnic and minority students. It also provides direct school and community service such as after-school programs as well as technical assistance to schools -- support which is still badly needed in Harlem and in poor neighborhoods across the country.

Dr. morrel pic bottomDr. morrell action pic bottom"We are in a moment where we are battling for control of the discourse of education," Morrell said, "where many different people are speaking about education from many standpoints, many using the language of failure of students, families, teachers and schools, and it's dispiriting. Education research has the opportunity to speak back, he said, but it needs to speak more powerfully and spotlight examples of classroom or school-wide practices that are working or show promise.

"We have tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of teachers in America who are highly effective every day, and we don't go inside their classrooms and figure out what they're doing. I think we need to do that."

Morrell hopes to put his own stamp on IUME by taking it beyond Harlem, and by assembling a national organization of young people who will "storm Washington" and advocate for themselves and their own education.

Morrell said his philosophy, developed while he worked with Jeannie Oakes, director of education and scholarship at the Ford Foundation and a former director of IDEA, fits well at UCLA, at TC, and at universities and education schools in between.

"How does a university research institution fulfill its mission of conducting research while also engaging the community in the process of advocating for social change?" he asked rhetorically.

As in the past, IUME seems likely to point the way.

To hear Professor Morrell speak out his future plans for IUME,  click here.
To read more about Professor Morrell from the Teachers College Department of Arts & Humanities blog, click here.
Return to Top