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

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A Historic Evening at the Inaugural Edmund Gordon Lecture

On October 10th, 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.

Introducing the "Educating Harlem" Lecture Series

In collaboration with the Program in History and Education at Teachers College as well as the Center on History and Education, IUME is excited to announce its participation in the new "Educating Harlem" lecture series, which is part of a larger initiative to better explore the forces that shaped education in Harlem.

On March 27th, the first "Educating Harlem" lecture took place at Teachers College in front of a packed room in Russell Hall, where Dr. Martha Biondi -- Professor of Education at Northwestern University -- spoke about her research on youth revolutions at City College in the 1960s. Our next speaker will be Dr. Khalil Muhammad, who is currently the Director of the Schomburg Center for Research and Black Culture. For more information about the Education Harlem initiative, click here.

Subcribe to the new IUME Newsletter!

In October, 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.

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!

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.

Getting Real III Public Videoconference Series Recap

This past fall over the span of 16 weeks, IUME partnered with the University of Wisconsin-Madison and New York University Hip-Hop Education Center to launch an innovative online seminar series called Getting Real III. Seminal scholars and leaders in the growing field of Hip-Hop studies focused their attention on how Hip-Hop culture, culturally relevant pedagogy and youth participatory action research can successfully be used to close the education gap in America's public schools.

This online public videoconference series was highly successful. The final four lectures were at Teachers College, and can be viewed in full HERE -- so check them out! The TC speakers featured Professor Chris Emdin, Professor Ernest Morrell, Jen Johnson, and Sam Seidel with Dave "TC" Ellis. (Original lineup here.)

Recapping the Final IUME Colloquia of 2012 on "Ill Literacies"

IUME's last Colloquia at the Gordon Campus was spearheaded by two dynamic scholars--Crystal Belle and Jamila Lyiscott--who are both Research Fellows at IUME and Ph.D. students in English Education. Both Crystal and Jamila, versed in spoken word and literacy experts in the making, discussed critical issues in literacy as it applies to democracy and freedom inside schools. We had a full house at the Gordon Campus, and it was a wonderful way to reflect on 2012 with critical discussion and passionate performances from both Crystal and Jamila.

The Colloquium is viewable in full on our YouTube channel and also don't forget to view our photo gallery, too! (For original information and details, 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.


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Research > The School Empowerment Project

The School Empowerment Project

Over the past 15 years, as a university faculty member, and as Associate Director of theInstitute for Democracy, Education, and Access (IDEA) at UCLA (2000-2011) and as the Director of the Institute for Urban and Minority Education (IUME) at Teachers College, Columbia University (2010-present) IUME Director Ernest Morrell has developed a five-part school empowerment model that includes: 1) School Culture; 2) Instructional Leadership; 3)Youth Engagement; 4) Parent and Community Engagement; and 5) Social Supports. Our long-term work with schools and districts has attempted to address each of the five areas while shorter-term work has focused on one or two areas of immediate need.

School Leadership School Culture (or School Climate)
With respect to developing or enhancing a positive school climate, our foci include: a.developing a Student-centered culture; b. developing a research-based culture (or a culture where practices are based upon existing research and theory); c. developing a data-driven culture where administrators and faculty are using formative and summative data to guide decisions; d. Character development and social awareness that emphasizes social and emotional learning, anti-bullying, and service ; and e. 21st century learning communities.

Instructional Leadership
Our work with teachers focuses on developing teachers as instructional leaders who use theory and data to guide classroom practice. The goal is to develop reflective practitioners who are able to differentiate instruction and who can develop engaging curricula that connect to students’ home cultures, that meet standards, and that involve 21st century learning.Finally we hope to incorporate teachers into local and national professional learning communities where they can share their work with and learn from colleagues. There are six components to the instructional leadership component. They include: a. Rigorous and relevant instruction; b. a coaching model; c. a collaborative teacher inquiry model; d.Literacy across the curriculum; e. 21st century learning; and f. Participation in professional communities.

Youth Engagement
In addition to working with building leaders and teachers, the school empowerment model addresses youth directly. For twenty years I have worked with youth as a teachers, a coach,and the director of a national program that engages youth as community leaders. In our work with youth we help to identify positive habits of successful students and we also connect learning to service in the community and the greater society. Some aspects of this work include having students take a pledge of personal accountability and helping students to develop activities that allow them to help their communities while also learning academic skills. I can provide some examples of websites that describe these programs upon request.Three areas of focus in our youth engagement component include: a. a personal accountability model; b. a social responsibility model; and c. a Black and Latino male initiative that focuses on increasing the engagement and achievement of Black and Latino males.

Parental and Community Partnerships
Work with parents includes helping parent coordinators (when they exist) to create materials and programming for parents. We also help to create workshops that help parents to learn how to assist their children with literacy, with homework, and with college preparation.Some foci of the parent and community partnerships component include: a. Parent engagement workshops; b. Consultations with parent coordinators; c. developing or identifying materials for parents related to health, homework assistance, promoting literacy,etc.; d. Planning family literacy nights (K-8); and e. Planning college readiness workshops(9-12).

Social Supports

Finally, we recognize that there are many non-school factors that impact a child’s ability to succeed in school. More and more, schools and districts have been compelled to develop programs and support systems that address these factors. My role as an institute director has been to help schools and districts identify partners and programs that address these needs. I have also worked to help schools identify funding streams to support these efforts. Some ofour areas of focus have included: a. Extended day programs; b. Breakfast and lunch programs; c. Health education programs; d. Sports programs; and e. Counseling programs

Schools and Districts we worked with in 2011-2012 include:
1. Central HS, Newark, NJ
2. Orange HS, Orange, NJ
3. Orange Preparatory Academy, Orange, NJ
4. Brooklyn Secondary School for Collaborative Studies, Brooklyn, NY
5. Wadleigh Middle School, Harlem, NY
6. Guion Creek Middle School, Indianapolis, IN
7. Watson School for Boys, Gary, IN
8. Woodrow Wilson HS, Los Angeles, CA
9. Theodore Roosevelt HS, Los Angeles, CA
10. Crenshaw HS, Los Angeles, CA
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