Sara Rimm-Kaufman


  • Ph.D., Harvard University, 1996
  • M.A., Harvard University, 1993
  • B.S., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1990

Rimm-Kaufman conducts research on elementary school classrooms with the goal of developing roadmaps for administrators and teachers making decisions for teachers and children. Her research examines the interactions between teachers and children and among the students' themselves. The work pays close attention to school and classroom experiences that support students' interest in learning, development of self-control, and social and emotional skills. In particular, she has had a steadfast commitment to examining ways of improving school experiences for students most at risk for school failure. Rimm-Kaufman coordinates the doctoral program in Educational Psychology-Applied Developmental Science. Rimm-Kaufman teaches courses in Learning and Development, Educational Psychology, and Social Development. See for information about research conducted by Sara Rimm-Kaufman and her team in the UVA Social Development Laboratory based at the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning.

Sample recent publications:

Abry, T., Rimm-Kaufman, S. E., & Curby, T. W. (2017). Are all program components created equal? Relations between specific social and emotional learning program practices and teacher-student interaction quality. Prevention Science, 18(2), 193-203.

Sandilos, L. E., Rimm-Kaufman, S. E., & Cohen, J. J. (2017). Warmth and demand: The relation between students’ perceptions of the classroom environment and achievement growth. Child Development, 88(4), 1321-1337.

Rimm-Kaufman, S. E., Baroody, A., Larsen, R., Curby, T. W., & Abry, T. (2015). To what extent do teacher-student interaction quality and student gender contribute to fifth graders engagement in mathematics learning? Journal of Educational Psychology, 107(1), 170-185. doi:

Rimm-Kaufman, S. E., Larsen, R. A., Curby, T. W., Baroody, A. E., Merritt, E. G., Abry, T. S., Ko, M., Thomas, J., & DeCoster, J. (2014). Efficacy of the Responsive Classroom approach: Results from a 3-year, longitudinal randomized controlled trial. American Education Research Journal. doi:10.3102/0002831214523821

Rimm-Kaufman, S. E. & Hamre, B. (2010).  The role of psychological and developmental science in efforts to improve teacher quality. Teacher College Record, 112(12), 2988-3023.

Research Interests

  • Development of Self-Regulation
  • Children's Self-Control
  • Teacher Interactions with Students
  • Social and Emotional Learning
  • Teacher Development
  • Mathematics Education
  • Elementary School Classrooms