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 > Urban Debate Research Project

Urban Debate Research Project

“All students must have the opportunities and resources to develop the language skills they need to pursue life’s goals and to participate fully as informed, productive members of society.” - IRA/NCTE Standards for the English Language Arts

Urban Debate is premised on the belief that all young people should be provided with an education that develops their academic literacies and civic capacities to live healthy and meaningful lives and as active and engaged citizens of a vibrant democracy. With these goals in mind, the Urban Debate research project promotes culturally engaging and relevant debate trainings and opportunities for New York students attending Title 1 public schools and studies salient ways in which the oral, literary, compositional, and rhetorical elements of competitive academic debate develop academic literacies, promote college-readiness, foster meaningful civic engagement, and increase teacher classroom engagement and effectiveness in meeting the Core Standards in English Language Arts. Towards these ends, the project has four key initiatives: summer training, debate opportunities during the school year, professional development for teachers, and research.


Goals and Objectives

Academic Literacy

Learning is not merely about passing a test, class, or getting a grade but becomes a means to travel to tournaments, win awards, build friendships, get into college, and develop a critical capacity to be advocates for change.

Invested Civic and Democratic Engagement Another goal is to foster skills that youth need to function as active participants in a democracy that they can both shape and govern. Toward this end this project is interested in the ways in which participants: 

Over the course of several weeks, students work in small groups to design research proposals and create dynamic speeches by utilizing a wide-range of rhetorical and literary techniques. To support this work, participants conduct original research as well as read, discuss, analyze and apply literature in critical theory, cultural studies, media studies, current events, Hip-Hop studies, public policy, and social theory to develop arguments, policy proposals and powerful speeches that address issues related to equity and social justice in participants’ schools, communities, and the larger society.

School-Year Opportunities

During the school year this project seeks to document the educational contexts that provide participants with training and opportunities to practice voicing their own researched views on the most pressing political, economic, social and cultural questions facing their generation. These educational contexts include:
Professional Development for Classroom Teachers

The aim of the professional development component is to develop the capacity of teachers to coach competitive debate teams as well as ways to apply debate instruction across the curriculum in English Language Arts classrooms to meet curricular objectives. Longitudinal Research The 2012 summer institute will be the first phase in a three-year qualitative study examining the pedagogical implications for the field of urban education and English Language Arts. This research is guided by the following research questions:  
1.     How does the project increase youth interest in participating in competitive academic policy debate?
2.     How does the project increase academic literacies?
3.     How do youth use debate for civic and political engagement?
4.     How does the teacher training component translate into innovative classroom pedagogy that combines youths creative production with content area knowledge?

This multi-tiered research design includes: interviews with students and teachers, participatory-observation of instructional contexts including the summer debate institute and at least six debate tournaments during the academic school year, and an evaluation of the textual products created by the student participants.

For more information on the New York City Urban Debate League visit:

Columbia University Summer Debate Institute

Led by IUME Research Fellow Jen Johnson, in the Summer of 2012, she led an 8-week summer institute that was a huge success. Watch the recap video below:

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