Providing roadmaps for educators making decisions based on science.


The UVA Social Development Lab, directed by Sara Rimm-Kaufman, is located within the Curry School of Education and Human Development and the Center for the Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL).


What do we do?


Study how schooling and classroom experiences contribute to children’s social and emotional development and academic learning


Conduct research in the early years of children’s lives—roughly preschool through age 12

student .png

Train future education researchers enrolled in the MEd and PhD programs in Educational Psychology: Applied Developmental Science (EP-ADS) and the VEST Pre-doctoral program


Project Spotlight: EL Education Study

This study focuses on how students develop prosocial behaviors in school environments. By following a cohort of students across sixth and seventh grade, researchers are exploring ethical character development and identity development within EL Education schools.


What have we learned?


Highly supportive classrooms lead to high student engagement and instructional support.


When teachers are highly organized, they help students be more engaged in learning.


Teaching social and emotional skills integrated with academic content boosts both students’ achievement and their social skills.


How can we judge the worth of a society? … the concern of one generation for the next.

— Urie Bronfenbrenner


Where We Are: CASTL

Our lab is nested within UVA’s Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL). Founded in 2006, CASTL is an interdisciplinary research center that aims to advance the quality of teaching and learning, from infancy to higher education. Our research initiatives span the globe and our faculty are leading the way to promote meaningful changes in education.