UMKC Catalog


Institute for Urban Education (IUE): Description

The Institute for Urban Education (IUE) is an undergraduate program that leads to a degree in elementary or middle school education with a focus in the teaching of math, science, and literacy. The program is specifically targeted to develop teachers for urban schools. The mission of UMKC’s Institute for Urban Education (IUE) is to partner with our community to prepare exemplary educators for urban settings. Exemplary educators are change agents who demonstrate cultural, pedagogical, subject matter, school, and interpersonal competencies.

IUE program goals are based on a set of key principles and express knowledge, skills and dispositions. These goals reflect the current knowledge base of teacher education as well as a commitment to the preparation of teachers who will be able to practice in schools as they are, and schools as they might be. The goals of the IUE are consistent with those of the School of Education Teacher Preparation program.

Students receiving IUE scholarships will make a commitment to teach in an urban district following graduation in exchange for financial support. Questions regarding the IUE’s programs and offerings should be directed to an IUE representative at (816) 235-2472 or (816)235-5258.

Program Curriculum

The design of the IUE curriculum strives to prepare exemplary teachers who will positively affect student achievement. The curriculum of the IUE will prepare exemplary teachers for urban schools through an emphasis on content knowledge and culturally-responsive pedagogy, opportunities for students to gain cultural awareness and exploring cultural identities, field experiences aligned with coursework often taught in urban classrooms, and beginning teacher support. The following areas are cornerstones of the IUE:

  • Emphasis on Math, Science and Literacy content and pedagogy The IUE curriculum includes a strong content component aligned with knowledge of how individuals learn content. The content focus of the IUE is math, science, and literacy. Students in the IUE will take math and/or science content courses nearly every semester of the program. Many of these courses are taken in alignment with teaching methods courses, allowing the students to see the immediate K-8 classroom application of content. Additionally, the content and pedagogical courses of the IUE have been designed in alignment with national and state math, science and literacy standards for elementary and middle school teachers.
  • Focus on social justice and multicultural education The IUE curriculum emphasizes cultural awareness, culturally-relevant pedagogy and immersion in urban schools. Students in the IUE are involved in field experiences in urban schools and communities every semester of the program. Aligned with these field experiences is a seminar course, allowing students to work closely with faculty exploring the political and social nature of teaching. Immersion in urban schools will help IUE students understand the culture of urban schools, the realities of urban life and learn how to teach in culturally relevant ways, connecting pedagogy to the lives of their students.
  • Summer cultural experiences The IUE curriculum provides students many opportunities to gain a broad and deep understanding of urban communities, and to work and socialize in that area. One such opportunity is the Summer Community Experience in which students will be fully immersed in the Kansas City community, gaining experience of other cultures and the community resources available to teachers and families. Designed with community leaders, the summer cultural experience is a six-week intensive program where students will work with local agencies to explore and serve urban communities. This experience occurs between the junior and senior years.
  • Innovative classes taught in urban school classrooms The IUE curriculum teaches students how to apply culturally relevant and responsive teaching practices through modeling, field experiences and courses taught in urban school classrooms. These experiences allow IUE students to witness how to make necessary curricular accommodations and modifications within their teaching behaviors to meet the needs of diverse students. Through courses taught in urban school classrooms, students see the immediate application of culturally relevant and responsive teaching and will learn how to make pedagogical modifications to address the cultures present in the classroom and make content meaningful to students.