The Institute for Urban and Minority Education, part of Teachers College, Columbia University since 1973, is committed to improving the quality of education for urban and minority children and youth and to better understanding their educational, psychological, and social development, as well as the experiences in the home, neighborhoods, communities, and larger society that determine opportunities for development and social mobility. Historically, the work has been organized according to the themes of:

Education for both children and families as an anti-poverty strategy

Equality of educational opportunity and equity

Diversity and multiculturalism

School reform to improve achievement outcomes for students of color and their peers

The power of supplementary education


IUME has approached the problem of improving the quality of education for urban and minority students in three ways:


By conceptualizing fundamental problems and conducting research to discover their solutions.


 By translating and applying research knowledge in practical situations.


By developing new programs, techniques, instruments, and materials that can be used in a variety of educational settings.

In its thirty-year experience of running the federally-funded ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education, the Institute for Urban and Minority Education gained expertise in purveying information services to a wide constituency and became a respected source of research knowledge in the area of urban and minority education. In doing so, IUME helped educators and researchers define and develop the field of urban education by providing direct information services to parents, community members, and education professionals. Over the years IUME has also offered training and workshops to students, parents, teachers, administrators, and other community members.

More recently, IUME and its affiliated faculty have continued to focus on the development of underserved communities, focusing their work on the impact of supplementary education, youth participatory action research, social and racial justice curriculum and professional development on teaching and learning within and beyond schools. True to IUME’s interdisciplinary focus, affiliated faculty and their research reflect a wide variety of interests, including psychology, literacy, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), history, policy, and health.

IUME’s work is supported by Teachers College, Columbia University, governmental agencies, and foundations.