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

Last year, IUME was excited to announce the launch of the Literacy Teachers Initiative (LTI), which partners with dynamic teachers from the community in an effort to collaboratively work toward finding increased pedagogical methods for students. LTI is led by Dr. Jodene Morrell of Teachers College and in partnership with Community School District 5 of the New York City Department of Education. The nine inaugural Teacher Fellows conducted their research and will present their findings this fall, and with the addition of three new Teachers Fellows, the program has successfully expanded in its second year.

Check out our LTI page for more information and check out the biographies of the Teacher Fellows here! (In addition, click here for details of the fall presentations by the teachers.)


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.



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.

CLICK HERE FOR UPCOMING TOURNAMENTS, SPRING SCHEDULE, AND OTHER NEWS ABOUT THE NYC URBAN DEBATE LEAGUE!

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: http://nycudl.org

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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