Christopher Hafen, research scientist at the Curry School of Education’s Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning, was nominated for the Journal of Youth and Adolescence’s Emerging Scholar Best Article Award. His article “The Pivotal Role of Adolescent Autonomy in Secondary School Classrooms” was among twelve finalists for the competitive honor.
In the study, Hafen along with co-authors Joseph P. Allen, Amori Yee Mikami, Anne Gregory, Bridget Hamre, and Robert C. Pianta, examined the influence of student autonomy on classroom engagement over the course of the school year in a sample of 578 high school students. The results showed students who perceived their classrooms as allowing and encouraging autonomy displayed increases in engagement. On the other hand, students situated in less autonomous classrooms showed decreased engagement over the duration of the class.
The annual award is given to an outstanding article authored by a non-tenured scholar. Roger Levesque, the editor and chief of the journal, said in the article announcing the finalists and winner, “Given that the journal publishes 12 issues per year, each containing about 11-12 manuscripts, the editors view the award as considerably distinctive accomplishment.”