Jennifer Lin Russell

Associate Director for Educational Research and Practice

Professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Education

Senior 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.

Education Reform Improvement Science Interventions Mathematics Coaching Networked Improvement Communities Professional Learning Research/Practice Partnerships

Related Research Areas

Improvement Research in Education Informal & Life-long Learning

Recent Publications

Peurach, D. J., Russell, J. L., Cohen-Vogel, L., &  Penuel, W. R. (2022). The FoundationalHandbook on Improvement Research in Education. Rowman & Littlefield.  

Stein, M.K., Russell, J.L., Bill, V., Correnti, R., & Speranzo, L. (2021). Coach learning to help teachers learn to enact conceptually rich, student-focused mathematics lessons. Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education.

Sherer, D., Paquin-Morel, R., Larbi-Cherif, A. & Russell, J. L. (2021). Conceptualizing, evaluating, and measuring improvement networks. Oxford Bibliographies: Series on Improvement-Focused Educational Research. New York: Oxford University Press. 

Russell, J.L., Correnti, R., Stein, M.K., Thomas, A., Bill, V. & Speranzo, L. (2020). Mathematics Coaching for Conceptual Understanding: Promising Evidence Regarding the Tennessee Math Coaching Model. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis.

Russell, J. L., Correnti, R., Stein, J. K., Bill, V., Hannan, M., Schwartz, N., Booker, L., & Pratt, N. R. (2020). Learning from adaptation to support instructional improvement at scale: Understanding coach adaptation in the TN Mathematics Coaching Project.American Educational Research Journal, (1).

Jennifer Lin Russell's Google Scholar profile

News and Awards

Jennifer Russell and her co-researchers received a U01 award from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute titled “The Maximizing Extubation outcomes Through Educational and Organizational Research (METEOR) Trial.” They plan to examine education strategies designed to promote the use of respiratory therapies that reduce morbidity and mortality.

November 1, 2021


Jennifer Russell was quoted in Wall Street Journal, "Remote Kindergarten During COVID-19 ‘Could Impact This Generation of Kids for Their Lifetime."

May 9, 2021


Jennifer Russell was quoted in Wall Street Journal, "Remote Kindergarten During COVID-19 ‘Could Impact This Generation of Kids for Their Lifetime."

May 9, 2021


Jennifer Russell, Professor, Education, and Melissa Libertus, Associate Professor, Psychology were quoted in a February 19 NPR article “Why Kindergarten? Pandemic Disruption Forces Big Questions About U.S. Education System.”

February 19, 2021


Jenn Russell, Professor, School of Education, has been named LRDC Associate Director of Educational Research and Practice.

March 16, 2020

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