Susan Jo Russell


Professional Title: 
Math Educator
About Me (Bio): 
Susan Jo Russell was a classroom teacher and staff developer in public and private schools in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. She is currently at the Education Research Collaborative at TERC, where she has worked in research and development for over 25 years directing projects that have focused on computer education, mathematics for special needs students, professional development in mathematics for elementary and middle school teachers, research on students’ and teachers’ understanding of mathematics, and curriculum design for elementary students. She co-directed the development and revision of the NSF-funded elementary curriculum, Investigations in Number, Data and Space and the professional development materials, Developing Mathematical Ideas. She has authored or co-authored many books and articles including The Development of Earlier Algebraic Thinking: Multiple Perspectives (edited by Cai & Knuth, Springer) and chapters in the NCTM publications, Teaching Mathematics through Problem Solving: Grades K-6 and the 2010 books, just released, Teaching and Learning Mathematics: Translating Research for Elementary School Teachers (edited by Lambdin & Lester) and Models of Intervention in Mathematic (edited by Cathy Fosnot). Her current work focuses on understanding how practicing teachers can learn more about mathematics and about children's mathematical thinking and on how young students articulate, represent, and justify general claims in the context of ideas that arise naturally from their study of number and operations. In particular, she is interested in how students with a history of poor achievement in grade-level computation and students with a history of excelling in grade-level computation engage in these ideas. She is developing, with Deborah Schifter and Virginia Bastable, a book and on-line course for teachers in grades 1-6, Connecting Arithmetic and Algebra.
TERC, Inc.

This project develops images, extended examples, and principles that illustrate how the articulation, representation and justification of general claims about operations evolve in the elementary grades and how this work supports the transition from arithmetic to algebra in the middle grades. An online course uses the Sourcebook as a text to engage teachers in considering the underlying pedagogical and mathematical aspects of the work and implementing these ideas in their instruction.

TERC, Inc.

The goal of this conference was to bring together classroom teachers, mathematics educators, mathematicians, and community college faculty to consider critical questions about content and pedagogy in the mathematics education of K-8 teachers. These discussions were grounded by co-teaching actual professional development sessions, through observing each other teaching, and through debriefing teaching sessions based on observations and videotape. The participants developed an emerging set of principles and approaches to professional development for K-8 teachers.

TERC, Inc.

This project will develop and systematically investigate a teaching model to assist teachers in developing ideas about proof in grades 2-5. The teaching model provides both a tool for learning on the part of elementary teachers and a model of practice from which they can learn as they implement it.