My name is James Russo, and I live in Melbourne, Victoria.
I began my career as a research analyst and social policy consultant, before making the decision to train to become a primary school teacher. I have always had a passion for how people learn mathematics and statistics, and what is the most effective approach for facilitating learning in these areas. After conceptualising SURF the previous year, I spent 2014 to 2016 developing and implementing a program based around the SURF framework at Belgrave South Primary School, in Victoria. In 2017, I worked at Wilandra Rise Primary School, in Clyde North, in a specialist mathematics role.
I recently completed a PhD at Monash University, under the supervision of Dr Sarah Hopkins and Professor Peter Sullivan. My research is focussed around how challenging mathematical tasks should be used in the early years of schooling to improve mathematical fluency, problem solving performance and to build persistence. In particular, I was interested in how lesson structure impacted the student learning experience when teaching with challenging tasks.
I am interested in combining a career as a primary school teacher and academic researcher, in an attempt to examine both how research can inform teacher practise, and, very importantly, how classroom practise can inform research. As of 2018, I have taken a position as a lecturer in education at Monash University, whilst continuing to work with students and teachers as a maths specialist at Belgrave South for half-a-day a week. I am also currently editor of the journal produced by the Mathematical Association of Victoria aimed at practising primary school teachers; Prime Number.
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