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

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Attend the 3rd Annual Edmund Gordon Lecture

Don't miss this annual tradition in the honor of IUME Founder Dr. Edmund Gordon, which is now in its 3rd year. In this lecture, esteemed scholar Professor Sonia Nieto reflects on her life as a teacher, curriculum developer, mentor, ethnic studies instructor, researcher, and professor of teacher educator to draw a number of significant lessons about public education and its future for the most vulnerable students as well as for the nation. Dr. Nieto's talk is entitled, "50 Years in Public Education: Reflections on a Fulfilled Life" and will be in Milbank Chapel at Teachers College, Columbia University.

For more information and to RSVP, please click here. 

RSVP for the 3rd Annual Edmund Gordon Lecture with Dr. Sonia Nieto

IUME is excited to once again announce that esteemed scholar Dr. Sonia Nieto will speak as part of the 3rd Annual Edmund Gordon Lecture, part of the Educating Harlem series. Dr. Sonia Nieto, the 2014 Recipient of Teachers College Medal for Distinguished Service, will reflect on her five decades worth of knowledge on public education in her talk, " 50 Years in Public Education: Reflections on a Fulfilled Life." It will be a powerful evening, and we hope to see you there.

To RSVP and for more details, 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 > 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.
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