The Early Learning Study

  • Research Project

What We Do

The Early Learning Study examines the ways in which teachers support children’s self-regulatory competencies in kindergarten and first grade classrooms.

Project Info

Funding Source: National Science Foundation

Principal Investigator: Sara Rimm-Kaufman

The research team gathered data from families and observed children in classrooms to understand the ways in which contact, communication, and relationships between teachers and children supported their ability to stay on task and engaged in learning. This study was conducted in seven rural elementary schools in the Southeast.  Several publications are available from this research study.


Brock, L. L., Rimm-Kaufman, S. E. & Nathanson, L. (2009). The contributions of ‘hot’ and ‘cool’ executive function to children’s academic achievement and learning-related behaviors, and engagement in kindergarten.  Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 24(3), 337-349. 

Curby, T. W., Rimm-Kaufman, S. E., & Ponitz, C. C. (2009).  Teacher-child interactions and children’s achievement trajectories across kindergarten and first grade.  Journal of Educational Psychology, 101(4), 912-925. 

Nathanson, L., Rimm-Kaufman, S.E., & Brock, L.L. (2009). Kindergarten adjustment difficulty: The Contribution of children's effortful control and parental control. Early Education and Development, 20(5), 775-798. 

Ponitz, C. C., Rimm-Kaufman, S. E., Brock, L. L. & Nathanson, L. (2009).  Early adjustment, gender differences, and classroom organizational climate in first grade.  The Elementary School Journal, 110(2), 142-162. 

Ponitz, C. C., Rimm-Kaufman, S. E., Grimm, K. J., & Curby, T. W. (2009). Kindergarten classroom quality, behavioral engagement, and reading achievement. School Psychology Review, 38, 102-120. 

Rimm-Kaufman, S. E., Curby, T., Grimm, K., Nathanson, L., & Brock, L. (2009).  The contribution of children’s self-regulation and classroom quality to children’s adaptive behaviors in the kindergarten classroom.  Developmental Psychology, 45(4), 958-972. 

Contact Us

Office Location

  • Ruffner Hall - 405 Emmet Street S, Charlottesville, VA 22904