IUME Team Meeting Recap: Creating a IUME Design ☆

| October 21, 2011

Earlier this afternoon, the IUME team convened for our bi-weekly meeting at the Edmund W. Gordon Campus. While it is exciting to hear about all the wonderful individual projects that the post-doctoral fellows, graduate assistants and project assistants have been working on, it is even more exciting for us to collectively discuss how we can frame the Institute’s existence moving forward. Today was a day to discuss how IUME can change the world.

To get us started, Dr. Morrell asked us three questions:
1) What does it mean today to do work in schools and communities?
2) What does it mean to research on the work we do in schools and communities?
3) What knowledge is needed to perform this type of work?

As you can see from the canvas, a hodge-podge of terms, ideas, and frameworks were written up by Dr. Morrell as we shouted out our thoughts. We all grappled with these questions, brainstorming about how IUME can be a leader in reframing how education is thought about in America–we must reframe and push the boundaries of theory and practice. For example, we must focus on students as creators of knowledge, utilizing their skills. We must focus on connecting the history of students’ communities to their school experience. We must focus on the “whole child,” effectively putting different pieces together to create a whole. We must create culturally relevant material that empowers students. We must focus on school and community engagement by ways of youth participatory action research and critical race methods. We must also step into the political arena, making sure policies represent our successes on the ground. We must redefine and then show what “success” looks like in the classroom.

Yet, what are the mechanisms required to do these things? What role does IUME play? As Dr. Morrell said, we must “be activists through our scholarship.” We believe that research can be a powerful form of social justice and a form that we intend to carry out at IUME. We must first educate ourselves of the type of work that makes an impact on children’s lives, become well-versed in that work, and share it with other teachers, administrators, and policymakers. And then we must create our own knowledge; we must lead by example, pushing the boundaries on the current models of education research. Frankly, we are responsible for documenting the type of school/student/community experiences that happen everyday but fail to be shared, internalized, and studied. Let’s take these ideas and make them reality–there is no time to wait.