IUME’s Ongoing Research

At the core of our work is to produce critical, cutting-edge research that is not only squarely dedicated to finding solutions in urban education and promoting the voices of marginalized peoples, but to pushing the methodological and epistomological boundaries of what rigorous research in education looks like. Scroll our projects below or search to learn more.

Bridging Communities with Student STEM Stories

This three-year, NSF-funded research project, Bridging Communities with Student STEM Stories: Culturally-responsive Strategies for Motivating STEM Engagement in Diversifying Public Schools, seeks to better understand and promote practices that increase student motivations and capacities to pursue careers in fields of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) by developing and testing an innovative approach to elementary school STEM education.

Young students will investigate stories from their families and local communities that help them better understand, appreciate, and become interested in how STEM knowledge and skills directly impact their lives and could lead to potential career paths. Utilizing geographic information systems (GIS) and digital mapping technologies, students in grades 3-5 at two public elementary schools will conduct multi-modal research projects to illuminate examples of STEM engagement in their own communities. With the aid of their teachers and university-based researchers, students will examine the science and mathematics embedded within the activities and resources of their local communities.

Students will interview family and community members about how they use mathematics and science in their daily lives, and the focus of their scientific and mathematical inquiries will vary by grade level to align with the specific science content emphasized across grades and the developmental levels of the students. Teachers will incorporate student findings into class-related activities, and students, working closely with their teachers and researchers, will produce multimedia artifacts that include an interactive map embedded with student-created pins linking each student's STEM story project, including visuals, audio files and reports. These artifacts will be showcased during school-wide presentations to engage parents and community members in breaking down racial and cultural divides. Student research will also be posted on the school websites and shared with other educators via social media and publications.

Harlem Education History Project

The Harlem Education History Project is a collaborative, multi-generational investigation into the history of education in 20th century Harlem. This project, begun in 2013, previously worked under the name Educating Harlem.

The Harlem Education History Project’s website is a common point of access and a meeting ground for the multiple generations of scholars and community members connected to our project. The project’s Digital Collection makes primary sources in Harlem’s educational history public available, including school yearbooks, newspapers, oral history interviews, and other relevant documentation. The website also features archival materials and oral histories, alongside analytical exhibits created by Teachers College students and participating scholars, high school students, and community members.

The project’s youth-centered component, Youth Historians in Harlem (YHH), brings high-school aged students into our multi-generational learning community on Harlem’s educational history by shaping their own research projects on the history of their school and their community.

Cyphers for Justice (CFJ)

IUME’s Cyphers for Justice program (CFJ), a long-standing IUME project, continues with the goal of providing a 15-week curriculum for high school youth to become immersed in multiple and hip hop literacies, youth research, and social action.

CFJ apprentices NYC city High School youth, incarcerated youth, and NYC teachers as critical researchers through the use of hip hop, spoken word, digital literacy, and critical social research methods. Founded within the tradition of Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR), the efforts of the CFJ program have been dedicated to sustaining the cultures and literacies of youth in connection with developing academic research skills and literacies for social action. Produced by a talented group of IUME players, each semester CFJ facilitators cultivate an intergenerational community of practice, which brings youth research participants together with adult research participants, who serve as facilitators in different content areas. The CFJ team is led by coordinators, Drs. Jamila Lyiscott (IUME Senior Research Fellow) and Limarys Caraballo (IUME Senior Research Fellow); facilitator Mikal Amin Lee; TC students Joe Riina-Ferrie and Danielle Filipiak and Mijin (MJ) Yeom.

Black Education Research Collective (BERC)

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The Black Education Research Collective (BERC) convenes research faculty, students, practitioners, policymakers, and activists interested in centering Black studies, experience, and culture in education research and practice.

As the education research community continues to quantify, analyze, and contend with the perennial disparities, disproportionalities, and disadvantages associated with the education of Black children, the knowledge base upon which these studies are conducted remain limited and disconnected from the everyday needs of Black students and communities. Indeed, the marginalization of Black knowledge claims and perspectives in education research has undermined the field’s ability to translate study findings and policy recommendations into meaningful change for the populations they are purported to serve.

The Black Education Research Collective (BERC) takes up this unresolved dilemma of Black education by deepening and enriching education research with the intellectual contributions, research perspectives, and lived experiences of Black scholars, educators, and activists.

“Hidden” History: Mathematics, Mathematics Education, and Mathematicians at Historically Black Colleges and Universities


Supported by a TC Provost Investment Fund grant, IUME is partnering with the Programs in History and Mathematics Education and MASCLab to develop a research project focusing on the history of mathematics teaching and learning at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), 1945-1965.

This two-phase project involves archival research about courses, curriculum, department structure, and faculty and students associated with mathematics at key HBCUs, as well as the creation of a digital library of resources and multimedia artifacts related to the history of African American mathematicians, organizations, and institutions instrumental in facilitating excellence in mathematics research, teaching, and learning.  This project reflects an interdisciplinary approach to the history of (mathematics) education in general, drawing on the fields of mathematics, history, history of science, and education, and using multiple approaches to curating information and research. Click here to read a blog post about our recent work with the National Association of Mathematicians.