April 2, 2010 — Two professors at the University of Virginia's Curry School of Education shared the 2009 Article of the Year award, given out by the journal School Psychology Review for "contributions to the scholarly school psychology literature."
U.Va.'s Claire Cameron Ponitz, lead author, and Sara E. Rimm-Kaufman shared the award with Kevin J. Grimm at the University of California, Davis and Timothy W. Curby of George Mason University, for their article, "Kindergarten Classroom Quality, Behavioral Engagement and Reading Achievement."
The award is given on the basis of contribution to research in school psychology, contribution to practice in school psychology, interest of the article to the readership of School Psychology Review, and overall contribution of the article to advancing the profession of school psychology.
The study examined the extent to which kindergarteners' classroom participation affected the relation between classroom quality and children's reading achievement. A structural equation framework was used to analyze data collected in a primarily low-income rural sample of 171 students in the fall and spring of the school year.
Observers rated the overall quality of teachers' interactions with their students three times during the year. Children's classroom behavioral engagement was based on several observations and end-of-year teacher ratings.
Controlling for family socio-demographic risk and fall reading skill, higher classroom quality was expected to predict higher reading achievement, directly and indirectly, through promoting behavioral engagement.