Jennifer Russell

Apply to the School of Education
Jennifer Russell

Jennifer Russell

University of Pittsburgh
808 Learning Research and Development Center
3939 O'Hara Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Phone: 412-624-7489


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.

School Affiliations

Recent Grants

  • 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
  • States as STEM Learning Environments: Building an Indicator System to Guide Instructional Improvement at Scale

    Oct 2013 - 2016
  • Principal Investigator. Spencer Foundation. Designing Organizational Routines to Support the Inclusion of Special Education Students in Secondary Schools. (7/1/14-6/30/17), $296,704.
  • Catalyzing a Network of Educational Networks to Learn How to Improve

    Jul 1, 2012 - Apr 30, 2014
  • Collaborative, Technology-Enhanced Lesson Planning as an Organizational Routine for Continuous, School-Wide Instructional Improvement.

    Jul 1, 2009 - Jun 30, 2013
  • More

Recent Publications

  • Russell, J. L., Meredith, J.*, Childs, J.*, Stein, M. K., & Prine, D. W. (in press). Designing inter-organizational networks to implement education reform: An analysis of state Race to the Top applications. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis.
  • 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.
  • Bray, L. E., & Russell, J. L. (2016). Going Off Script: Structure and Agency in Individualized Education Program Meetings. American Journal of Education, 122(3).
  • 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. Journal of Teacher Education, 66(5), 494-508.
  • Russell, J. L., & Sabina, L.* (2014). Planning for school leadership succession: Promising practices in three districts. Journal of School Leadership, 24(4).
  • Russell, J. L., Knutson, K., & Crowley, K. (2013). Collaborations bridging the formal-informal divide in an urban educational ecology. Journal of Educational Change.
  • More