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:

Rimm-Kaufman, S. E. & Jodl, J. (2020). Educating the whole learner: Mobilizing whole child advocates behind the neuroscience of learning and development. Educational Leadership, 77(8), 28-34.

Rimm-Kaufman, S. E. & Merritt, E. G. (2019). Let’s power our future: Integrating science and social and emotional learning to improve collaborative discourse and science understanding. Science and Children, 57(1), 52-60.

Rimm-Kaufman, S. E., Donnan, M. F., Garcia, D., Snead-Johnson, M., Kotulka, E. & Sandilos, L. (2018). A partnered approach to school change in a rural community: Reflections and recommendations. Foundation Review, 10(4), 103-118. 10.9707/1944-5660.1446

Molina, E., Pushparatnam, A. Rimm-Kaufman, S. E. & Wong, K. K. (2018). Evidence-based teaching: Effective teaching practices in primary school classrooms. World Bank Group: Policy Research Working Papers.

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. 

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