Jennifer Russell
Faculty - Department Chairperson

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. 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.

School Affiliations

Recent Grants

Co-Lead (with Tony Petrosky, Chris Schunn & Rosita Apodaca). Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Network for School Improvement in Dallas ISD, (proposal development phase; final round), $7,400,000.
Principal Investigator (with Jennifer Sherer and Jennifer Iriti). Nellie Mae Foundation. Developmental Evaluation of the Better Math Teaching Network & Student Centered Assessment Network, (9/1/16-6/15/21), $1,524,403.
Principal Investigator. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Conceptualizing and Measuring Network Health, (11/15/18-11/14/20), $1,495,000.
Co-Investigator (with Tim Girard (PI), Jeremy Kahn, and Linda Argote (Carnegie Mellon). National Institute of Health. Maximize Extubation (Outcomes) Through Educational and Organizational Research (METEOR), (8/15/2018-6/30/20), $522,309.
Principal Investigator. Gates Foundation, subcontract from the Tennessee Department of Education (SCORE). Tracking the emergence and development of the Tennessee Early Learning Network (TELN), (1/1/16-7/31/18), $229,776.

Coaching to Improve Common Core Aligned Mathematics Instruction in Tennessee

Jul 2014 - Jun 2017

Recent Publications

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, 57(1), 148-187.
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.
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.
Hecht, M., Crowley, K., & Russell, J. L. (2020). Decentering humans in the learning sciences: The role of nonhuman nature and place in learning ecosystems, Preceedings of the 14th International Conferences of the Learning Sciences, 501-504.
Davidson, K., Bell, A.*, Riedy, R.*, Sandoval, C.*, Wegemer, C., Clark, T., Farrell, C., Fishman, B., Russell, J. Penuel, W. R., & Marin, A. (2020). Preparing researchers to participate in collaborative research. Preceedings of the 14th International Conferences of the Learning Sciences, 501-504, 2563-2572.
Russell, J. L., Correnti. R. C., Stein, M. K., Thomas, A., Bill, V. & Speranzo, L. (Conditional Accept). Mathematics coaching for conceptual understanding: Promising evidence regarding the TN + IFL Math Coaching Model. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis.
Jennifer Russell


University of Pittsburgh
808 Learning Research and Development Center
3939 O'Hara Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15260