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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 assistant 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. Her research examines policy and other educational improvement initiatives through an organizational perspective. 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 has examined how teachers’ social networks influence their implementation of reform mathematics practice in two urban districts (Coburn & Russell, 2008; Coburn, Russell, Kaufman & Stein, 2012; Russell, Coburn & Kaufman, in preparation). The second strand of research examines how organizations can productively collaborate to pursue educational improvement. In a recent publication she explored how informal education organizations, such as museums and community centers, collaborate with schools and districts to expand regional educational opportunities for children and youth (e.g. Russell, Knutson & Crowley, in press). And in a new study funded by the William T. Grant Foundation she is collaborating with colleagues at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching to identify essential capacities and design consideration for the formation of networks aimed at improving persistent problems of education practice. Her research has also been funded by the Spencer Foundation and the Institute for Education Sciences. Recent publications include: "From child's garden to academic press: The role of shifting institutional logics in redefining kindergarten education" (2011, American Educational Research Journal); "Collaborations bridging the formal-informal divide in an urban educational ecology" (in press, Journal of Educational Change) with K. Knutson and K. Crowley.

Russell, J. L., Kehoe, S. & Crowley, K. (in press). 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. (In press). Turning around low-achieving schools: Building state capacity to support improvement through Race to the Top. Urban Education.

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

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.

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).

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.

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.

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

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. 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., 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.

Hamilton, L .S., Stecher, B. M., Russell, J. L., Marsh, J. A., & Miles, J. (2008). Accountability and teaching practices: School-level actions and teacher responses. In B. Fuller, M.K. Henne, & E. Hannum (Eds.), Strong state, weak schools: The benefits and dilemmas of centralized accountability (Research in the Sociology of Education, Vol. 16, pp.31-66). St. Louis, MO: Emerald Group Publishing.

Coburn, C. E. & Russell, J. L. (2008). Getting the most out of professional learning communities and coaching: Promoting interactions that support instructional improvement. Learning Policy Brief, 1(3), 1-4.

Russell, J. L. (2008). Defining kindergarten in an era of accountability. California Kindergarten Association Journal: Teaching, Research and Practice, 1-15.

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 a blog posts that are 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

RAND Summer Associate Policy research internship

Summer 2004

Spencer Research Training Grant

2003-2004

University of California, Berkeley

Departmental Honors in Urban Studies

1994

Northwestern University