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Research web site

Jennifer Lin Russell

Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Education

Research Scientist, Learning Research & Development Center

Research Interests

Jennifer Lin Russell is an associate professor of Learning Sciences and Policy in the School of Education and a research scientist at the Learning Research and Development Center (LRDC) at the University of Pittsburgh. She is also a fellow with the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Her research examines policy and other educational improvement initiatives through an organizational perspective, and seeks to reshape the relationship between educational research and practice in order to accelerate improvement in the field. Her recent work examines two primary issues: (1) how schools create social and organizational structures that support reform; and (2) how inter-organizational collaborations can be structured for educational improvement. In the first strand she examines how teachers’ social networks influence their implementation of ambitious mathematics teaching practices, as well as how secondary schools organize to support the inclusion of students with special needs. Her second strand of research examines how organizations can productively collaborate to pursue educational improvement. Since 2014, she has worked with the Tennessee Department of Education, the Institute for Learning and a team of researchers at LRDC to test and refine a model for instructional coaching that can support mathematics teaching improvement throughout the state of Tennessee. Additionally, she is examining how networked improvement communities launch and develop to support efforts to address complex practical problems. For example she is tracking the development of the Tennessee Early Literacy Network and the Better Math Teaching Network. Her research has been funded by the Spencer Foundation, the Institute of Education Sciences, the National Science Foundation, and the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. Prior to pursuing a research career, Russell was a special education teacher in Oakland, CA and Williamson County, TN.

Correnti, R., Thomas, A., Baeksan, Y., Russell, J., Booker, L., Schwartz, N., & Stein, M. K. (2017). Prospective Matching Methods in Education Research: Recruiting an Active Comparison Sample for Causal Inference, Proceedings of the SREE 2017 Conference.

Russell, J. L., Kehoe, S., & Crowley, K. (2017). Linking in and out-of-school learning. In K. Peppler (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Out-of-School Learning. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Childs, J. & Russell, J. L. (2017). Turning around low-achieving schools: Building state capacity to support improvement through Race to the Top. Urban Education, 52(2).

Russell, J. L., Bryk, A. S., Dolle, J., Gomez, L. M., LeMahieu, P. & Grunow, A. (2017). A framework for initiation of Networked Improvement Communities. Teachers College Record, 119(7).

Bickel, D. Bill, V., Matsumura, L., Petrosky, A., Russell, J., Schantz, F. & Zook-Howell, D. (2017). Content-focused coaching for continuous improvement in literacy and mathematics. Institute for Learning

Stein, M. K., Correnti, R., Moore, D., Russell, J. L., Kelly, K. (2017). Using theory and measurement to sharpen conceptualizations of mathematics teaching in the Common Core era. AERA Open, 3(1).

Bill, V., Booker, L., Correnti, R., Russell, J., Schwartz, N., & Stein, M.K. (2017). Tennessee scales up improved math instruction through coaching. The Journal of the National Association of State Boards of Education, 17 (2), 22-27.

Russell, J. L., Kehoe, S., & Crowley, K. (2017). Linking in and out-of-school learning. In K. Peppler (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Out-of-School Learning. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Bray, L. E., & Russell, J. L. (2016). Going Off Script: Structure and Agency in Individualized Education Program Meetings. American Journal of Education, 122(3).

Russell, J. L., Meredith, J., Childs, J., Stein, M. K., & Prine, D. W. (2015). Designing inter-organizational networks to implement education reform: An analysis of state Race to the Top applications. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 37(1), 92-112.

Hannan, M., Russell, J. L., Takahashi, S. & Park, S. (2015). Improving feedback and support for beginning teachers: The case of the Building a Teaching Effectiveness Network. Invited to submit to a special issue of Journal of Teacher Education, 66(5), 494-508.

Russell, J. L., Meredith, J., Childs, J., Stein, M. K., & Prine, D. W. (2015). Implementing education policy through organizational networks: An analysis of state Race to the Top applications. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 37(1), 92-112.

Russell, J. L., & Sabina, L. (2014). Planning for principal succession: A conceptual framework for research and practice. Journal of School Leadership, 24, 599-639.

Russell, J. L., & Bray, L. E. (2013). Crafting Coherence from Complex Policy Messages: Educators’ Perceptions of Special Education and Standards-Based Accountability Policies. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 21(5).

Russell, J. L., Jackson, K., Krumm, A., & Frank, K. (2013). Theories and Methodologies for Design-Based Implementation Research: Examples from Four Cases. In B. J. Fishman, W. R. Penuel, A. R. Allen, & B. H. Cheng (Eds.), Design Based Implementation Research. National Society for the Study of Education Yearbook(2).

Russell, J. L., Knutson, K., & Crowley, K. (2013). Collaborations bridging the formal-informal divide in an urban educational ecology. Journal of Educational Change, 14, 259-281. [Lead article]

Russell, J., Knutson, K., & Crowley, K. (2013). Informal Learning Organizations as Part of an Educational Ecology: Lessons from Collaboration Across the Formal/Informal Divide. Journal of Educational Change, 14(3), 259-281.

Dolle, J. R., Gomez, L. M., Russell, J. L., & Bryk, A. S. (2013). More than a Network: Building Communities for Educational Improvement. In B. J. Fishman, W. R. Penuel, A. R. Allen, & B. H. Cheng (Eds.), Design Based Implementation Research. National Society for the Study of Education Yearbook, 112(2).

Coburn, C.E., Russell, J., Kaufman, K., & Stein, M.K. (2012). Supporting sustainability: Teachers’ advice networks and ambitious instructional reform. American Journal of Education, 119(1), 137-182.

Knutson, K., Crowley, K., Russell, J. L., & Steiner, M. A. (2011). Approaching art education as an ecology: Exploring the role of museums. Studies in Art Education, 52(4), 326-338.

Stein, M. K., Russell, J. L., & Smith, M. (2011). The role of tools in bridging research and practice in an instructional improvement effort. In W. F. Tate, K. King, & C. R. Anderson (Eds.), Disrupting Tradition: Research and Practice Pathways in Mathematics Education. Reston, VA: NCTM.

Russell, J. L. (2010). From child's garden to academic press: The role of shifting institutional logics in redefining kindergarten education. American Educational Research Journal, 20(10), 1-32.

Ogawa, R., & Russell, J. L. (2010, May). Organizing schools for learning: A proposal for linking the learning sciences and organization sciences. Paper presented at American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, Denver, CO.

Robyn, A., & Russell, J. L. (2009). Redefining the role of school districts through standards-based accountability policies: Successes and challenges. Educational Administration Quarterly. [co-lead authors]

Augustine, C., Gonzalez, G., Ikemoto, G., Russell, J., Zellman, G., Constant, L., Armstrong, J., & Dembosky, J. (2009). Improving school leadership: The promise of cohesive leadership systems. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation.

The McDonnell Foundation awarded a grant to Principal Investigator Mary Kay Stein and Co-Investigators Chris Schunn, Lindsay Clare Matsumura, Jennifer Russell, and Richard Correnti for their research, entitled "Teacher Learning to Enact Productive Discussions in Mathematics and Literacy."

November 6, 2017

LRDC Research Scientist, Education, Jennifer Russell and her co-authors’ publication “Tennessee scales up improved math instruction through coaching” was featured in a National Association of State Boards of Education press release that accompanied the special issue “Aligning a Standards-based System.”

May 1, 2017

LRDC Research Scientist and School of Education Associate Professor, Jennifer Lin Russell, has been named to the National Advisory Board of the National Education Researcher Database (NERD).

March 1, 2017

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Richard Correnti, LRDC Research Scientist and Associate Professor, School of Education, and co-Principal Investigators Mary Kay Stein, Associate Director for Educational Research and Practice, and Jennifer Russell, LRDC Research Scientist and Associate Professor, School of Education were awarded a 2017 Spencer Foundation grant for “Improvement of Mathematics Teaching At-Scale.”

2017

LRDC Research Scientist and Associate Professor, Education, Jennifer Lin Russell and her colleagues have been awarded a grant from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation for an "Evaluation of the Better Math Teaching Network." Jenn and her team will conduct a developmental evaluation of the network improvement community model, on which The Better Math Teaching network was designed.

December 2016

Jennifer Lin Russell has begun authoring a series of blog posts that appear on the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching website.

January 2016

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Jennifer Lin Russell has been asked to be a member of the faculty for the First Annual Design-Based Implementation Research Workshop at the University of Colorado Boulder.

January 2015

Jennifer Lin Russell has been named a Fellow by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

October 2014

The Pittsburgh Business Times reported on Jennifer Russell and co-investigators Mary Kay Stein, Victoria Bill, Richard Correnti and Lindsay Clare Matsumura and Tennessee Department of Education co-investigators Emily Barton and Nate Schwartz. “Coaching to Improve Common Core Aligned Mathematics Instruction in Tennessee” was awarded a Continuous Improvement Research in Education Grant from the Institute for Education Sciences (IES).

July 2014

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Congratulations to Jennifer Russell and co-investigators Mary Kay Stein, Victoria Bill, Richard Correnti and Lindsay Clare Matsumura and my co-investigators at the Tennessee Department of Education co-investigators Emily Barton and Nate Schwartz. “Coaching to Improve Common Core Aligned Mathematics Instruction in Tennessee” was awarded a Continuous Improvement Research in Education Grant from the Institute for Education Sciences (IES).

July 2014

Extra Mile Award Council of Graduate Students in Education

2014

University of Pittsburgh

Outstanding Reviewer for Educational Researcher American Educational Research Association

June 2014

Mary Kay Stein, Rip Correnti, Jen Russell and colleagues, awarded grants to work with Tennessee educators implementing the Common Core Standards

October 7, 2013

The University of Pittsburgh

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Dean's Award for Teaching Excellence

2013

School of Education, University of Pittsburgh

Outstanding Reviewer for Educational Evaluation & Policy Analysis American Educational Research Association

2011

School of Education Faculty Research Award

2010

University of Pittsburgh

Outstanding Dissertation Award Graduate School of Education

2008

University of California, Berkeley

Spencer Dissertation Fellowship

2006-2007

The Spencer Foundation

Founders' Region Fellowship Soroptomist International

2006

Founders' Region

University Fellowships

2002-2003 & 2004-2005

University of California, Berkeley