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.


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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