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Erik Ruzek

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Erik Ruzek
Phone: 434-243-3412
Location: Ruffner Hall 138
Curriculum vitae: Erik_Ruzek_CV_Feb_2016
Department: CASTL
Mailing Address: PO Box 800784, Charlottesville, VA 22904

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Research Assistant Professor


  • Ph.D., University of California, Irvine, 2012
  • M.A., Duquesne University, 2005
  • B.A., University of California, Riverside, 1997

Personal Statement

With a focus on middle and high schools, I study the impacts of classroom environments on students’ motivation, engagement, and academic achievement. I employ multiple methods for measuring the classroom, including student reports and independent observations, to gain a greater understanding of how and why classroom environments change student motivation and achievement. While my primary area of interest is in middle and high school education, I continue to work with colleagues on research on Pre-K instruction and children’s academic development.

Selected Publications

Ruzek, E. A., Hafen, C. A., Allen, J. P., Gregory, A., Mikami, A. Y., & Pianta, R. C. (2016). How teacher emotional support motivates students: The mediating roles of perceived peer relatedness, autonomy support, and competence. Learning and Instruction, 42, 95–103.

Lam, A. C., Ruzek, E. A., Schenke, K., Conley, A. M., & Karabenick, S. A. (2015). Student perceptions of classroom achievement goal structure: Is it appropriate to aggregate? Journal of Educational Psychology, 107(4), 1102–1115.

Ruzek, E. A. & Pianta, R. C. (2015). The value of using observational and student report methodologies in classroom research. In C. M. Rubie-Davies, J. M. Stephens, & P. Watson (Eds.), The Routledge International Handbook of Social Psychology of the Classroom (pp. 231-241). New York, NY: Routledge.

Ruzek, E. A., Domina, T., Conley, A. M., Duncan, G. J., and Karabenick, S. A. (2014).
Using value-added models to measure teacher effects on students’ motivation and achievement. Journal of Early Adolescence. doi: 10.1177/0272431614525260

Ruzek, E. A., Hafen, C. A., Hamre, B. K., & Pianta, R. C. (2014). Combining classroom observations and value-added for the evaluation and professional development of teachers. In T. Kaine, K. Kerr, and B. Pianta (Eds.) Designing teacher evaluation systems: New guidance from the Measures of Effective Teaching Project (pp. 205-233). San Francisco, CA: Josey-Bass

Ruzek, E., Burchinal, P., Farkas, G., and Duncan, G. J. (2014). The quality of
toddler child care and cognitive outcomes at 24 months: Propensity score analysis results from the ECLS-B. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 29(1), 12-21. doi:10.1016/j.ecresq.2013.09.002

Keys, T.D., Farkas, G., Burchinal, M.R., Duncan, G.J., Vandell, D.L., Li, W., Ruzek, E.
A., & Howes, C. (2013). Preschool center quality and school readiness: Quality effects and variation by demographic and child characteristics. Child Development, 84(4), 1171-1190. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12048

Domina, T. & Ruzek, E. (2012). Paving the way: K-16 partnerships for higher education diversity and high school reform. Educational Policy, 26(2), 243-267. doi: 10.1177/0895904810386586


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