The Urban Education program at Temple University brings multiple perspectives to the study of urban schooling. The program explores the ways broad structural factors - such as poverty, race relations, and globalization - influence the conditions of education in urban settings and in how students, families, educators, and community members experience school policies and practices. Faculty and students work together to understand the social context of urban education, especially the social, economic, political, and historical factors that shape city classrooms, schools, and communities. While the policy discourse about urban education often emphasizes school failure and community dysfunction, we take a more progressive stance. We view urban schools and communities as dynamic spaces, as both sites of challenges and storehouses of assets. We pursue research, policy, and practices which recognize contradictions and paradoxes in the field; helps to advance the debate about educational improvement; and improves students' educational experiences. The goal of the program is to train critically conscious researchers and practitioners who contribute solutions to the challenges faced by urban students, educators, community members, and policymakers. Program graduates hold positions as professors, educational researchers, K-12 teachers, and urban school and community leaders.
In keeping with the personalized character of the program, faculty advisors work closely with students, helping them tailor academic and field experiences to career goals and personal interests. We strive to create a strong sense of community within the program, and students and faculty often collaborate on projects. Our students come from varied backgrounds and have diverse areas of interest and expertise; however, they all share a passion for creating cities and schools that are more equitable, healthy, and sustainable.