what is school climate

School climate is the overall quality and character of school life, including teaching and learning practices, organizational structures, norms and values, and relationships. [6] Feeling safe in school influences students' learning and their general development. School climate refers to the quality and character of school life. For instance, poor relationships with students and colleagues and low parental and community involvement are related to emotional exhaustion (burnout) in teachers. Academics. Professional Development and SEL Coaching, School Climate Assessment and Improvement Process, Is the sum total of the behaviors and interactions of all adults and children, their attitude and norms, and the extent to which the school is safe, supportive, healthy, engaging, inspiring, and challenging for all (New Jersey School Health and Climate Coalition), Is significantly impacted by the leadership style of the school administrator, Are places where positive, healthy, and respectful behavior is the norm and the school is well-organized and managed, Are places where community-wide priorities, school policies and procedures are driven by positive and shared values such as respect, the importance of staff and student voice, collaboration, fostering success for all students, equity, acceptance, Are led by servant leaders committed to inclusive leadership and fostering success, health and well-being of all students and staff. A positive school climate reflects a school’s “norms, goals, values, interpersonal relationships, teaching and learning practices, and organizational structures.”(02) Social-emotional learning (SEL) supports a positive school climate. However, many factors linked to school climate have been found to affect teacher turnover rates. Teacher retention, or getting teachers to stay in the same school for many years, is an important issue in many schools. There are many factors that contribute to a positive school culture and climate. School Climate is the way the school environment functions to nurture students' physical, mental, and emotional well-being. For instance, a study comparing parents', teachers', and students' perceptions of school climate found that students reported worse ratings of safety and connectedness than the adults. [4], The quality of relationships between members of a school (teachers, students, and administrators) has an influence on students' behavior and achievement. For example, if the teacher of a classroom has a confident and intelligent persona then the students are more likely to portray these same characteristics in the classroom. Children are considered resilient if they can rely on positive conditions or attributes (e.g., supportive relationships with teachers, academically challenging instruction) to buffer the negative effects of adversity. School Strike for Climate! [35] According to the National School Climate Center,[36] an effective school climate improvement process is one that engages all stakeholders in six key practices: In schools, obtaining an accurate picture of a climate is an essential component for improving the learning environment. Frequent data collection should occur to evaluate and further develop the school improvement process. School climate refers to the quality and character of school life. [10] It proposes that individuals have ultimate control over their own environments, altering and modifying to their needs, however, this is only possible through self-directed actions that combine biological and environmental attributes. Several research studies highlight the link between student achievement and resources such as teacher education and experience, class size, teacher to student ration, school facilities, classroom materials, and financial expenditures.[4]. These dimensions are: safety, teaching and learning (academic climate), relationships (community climate), and the environment. These stakeholders have different roles and perspectives (e.g., teacher, bus driver, administration, maintenance staff, etc.). [8], According to this theory, behavior, emotions, and thoughts are influenced by personal characteristics and the surrounding environment. School climate is “the quality and character of school life – fosters children’s development, learning and achievement (NSCC, 2007, p. 2). School climate is defined as a mixture of beliefs, values and behaviors of students, teaching staff, leaders and parents, level of independence, lidership styles and job satisfaction. Another area on which school climate has a positive effect is academic achieve-ment To learn about climate change, you first must know what climate is. [43] Therefore, African American, female, and lower income students have a more negative perception of the racial climate than white, middle class, and male students. school climate as a strategy for dropout prevention, and the U.S. Department of Education recommends school climate reform as an evidence-based strategy to … [7] For instance, a study collected information from African American and white middle school students found differences in their perception of racial climate in their school. Healthy student development and learning environments are promoted through the implementation of strength- and risk-based practices and programs. [29] Research has shown that when teachers perceive themselves as efficacious, the school has effective principal leadership, and relationships between students and peers are positive, student standardized test scores, GPA, and grades are higher. This page was last edited on 29 May 2020, at 06:40. More often than not, schools have to examine many of those factors from different perspectives in order to initiate change. [5] School climate can be assessed indirectly through measures such as student attendance, suspensions, teacher turnover, or student mobility. Environmental variables include the adequacy of the school setting, the maintenance and infrastructure of the building, and the accessibility and allocation of educational resources.[4]. School climate reflects the physical and psychological aspects of the school that are more susceptible to change and that provide the preconditions necessary for teaching and learning to take place. [26] A negative school climate can also make existing social-emotional difficulties worse,[24] and these effects can be long-term. [4], Studies have shown that school climate can directly affect students' mental health and social-emotional well-being. There are several theories of school climate described in the research literature. School climate improvement is a five-stage continuous process: preparation, assessment, planning for improvement, implementation and evaluation. They are, however, intertwined; a school cannot address or improve one without examining the other. A positive school climate helps people feel socially, emotionally and physically safe in schools. It is a critical determinant of the ability of people in the school to focus on the tasks of teaching and learning. and psychological and emotional health declined over three years. [4] A high-quality academic environment within the school can reduce behavioral problems. For example, in a study of elementary student achievement in reading and mathematics, positive teacher characteristics such as setting high but achievable goals, believing in students, and commitment to students' academic success was associated with higher standardized test scores. [11] More depth of this concept can be referenced in the bioecological model. [27] In a study of middle school adolescents' perceptions of school climate and its effect on psychological health, researchers found that dimensions of school climate (safety, relationships, connectedness, sense of belonging, etc.) The relationship between a student and their teacher affects their engagement in the classroom, self-esteem, and grades. - Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education The National School Climate Center defines school climate as “the quality and character of school life” that is based on the “patterns of students’, parents’, and school personnel’s experiences of school life.” The School Culture and Climate Initiative is part of the Center for Human and Social Development at Saint Elizabeth University, an IRS-recognized 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Therefore, having behavior problems, being held back a grade, coming from a single-parent family, or having a different ethnic background can all influence a student's perception of school climate. For example, here are two definitions of school climate taken from the literature: "The physical and psychological aspects of the school that provide the preconditions necessary for teaching and learning to take place" (Tableman, 2004, p. 2). All Learning Is Social and Emotional: Helping Students Develop Essential Skills for the Classroom and Beyondwith Nancy Frey (February 28, 2019) [7] A positive school climates therefore means feeling physically and emotional safe, and having clear and consistent rules to maintain order and discipline. The community aspect of school climate refers to the quality of relationships within a school. [33] Research studies have also shown that reductions in student behavioral problems, aggression, and victimization are associated with positive relationships among school staff and peers. They are ordered based on the scientific research that has supported them. [35] Research suggests that engaging all members of the community is crucial for successful school improvement efforts. [28], A positive school climate is also important for student achievement. [17][18] In the context of school climate, the fit between students' psychological needs and the school environment plays a role in students' motivation for academic success. School climate is a broad, multifaceted concept that involves many aspects of the student’s educational experience. The quality of life within a school setting can promote the healthy social and emotional development of students. [2] The relationships between teachers and their colleagues and the school administration, also play an important role in teacher's commitment to their profession. "[1] A positive school climate helps people feel socially, emotionally and physically safe in schools. Researchers Megan Tschannen-Moran and Marilyn Barr define collective efficacy as, … For instance, environmental variables such as classroom layout and activity schedules can influence how safe students feel and how well they perform in school. [5] The promotion of a positive school climate is a general process that varies based on an individual school's strengths and weaknesses across different dimensions. [24] Many aspects linked to a positive school climate such as the ones described above (e.g. School climate is based on patterns of students', parents' and school personnel's experience of school life and reflects norms, goals, values, interpersonal relationships, teaching and learning practices, and organizational structures. School boards are required to administer school climate surveys to their students, parents and school staff at least once every two years and, as outlined in Policy/Program Memorandum No. [19][20] Because of the social nature of learning, the social identities of the teacher and each of the students is important and influences every interaction in the classroom. There is no consensus on the definition or dimensions of school climate. Therefore, students living in a cooperative, helpful class are more likely to feel identity safe as they develop a sense of belonging and contribute to their class community. School Climate & Culture 5 and decreases in internalizing and externalizing problems (Suldo, McMahon, Chappel, & Loker, 2012). School climate is the feel of the school (the schools’ attitude), the behaviors and points of view exhibited and experienced by students, teachers and other stakeholders. NSCC defines school climate as the quality and character of school life. School climate is the foundation of a successful school and positive educational outcomes for all of our students." That culture deeply informs the day-to-day experiences of students in their school environment. [16] School climate plays a role in student development through the quality of interactions with others. [24] For example, a higher incidence of conflict in schools is linked to a higher rate of childhood mental health disorders. [30] If students are absent from school, academic achievement can be affected. [27] For example, the severity of a student's mental health problems can increase over time if classroom conditions do not improve. [4] However, the factors that shape school climate are often grouped into four main dimensions. School climate is the collective perception of how well a school provides suitable conditions for learning. This theory outlines four systems of operations including a microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem and macrosystem, where the self is microsystem and school is part of the mesosystem. [7] However, many students do not feel safe in schools. Humans have the tendency to conform to others. It is composed of three factors: leadership, teaching and learning, and professional development. Structural features of the school, such as the temperature and age of the building, can affect student performance and school attendance. The unique needs of the students and school community are used to inform school improvement goals. [4] Research has shown that people have the natural tendency to affiliate with others. [7] In addition, school climate factors can influence teachers' mental health. School climate is a group phenomenon that reflects the school community’s norms, goals and values, and school climate emerges based on ways in which students, parents and school staff experience school life. School Climate is an overarching experience or “feel” of the school. [5] Improving school climate can be used as a preventative approach to reduce disruptive behavior and improve attendance, achievement, and student and parent satisfaction with school. [4] Many assessment tools and interventions have therefore been developed to help school in the climate improve process. [8], According to this theory, delinquency occurs when an individual's feelings of attachment towards others, commitment to current or future activities, involvement (i.e., time spent) in various activities, and commitment to the beliefs/moral value system of society are weakened. Offering school personnel opportunities to learn as teams or to build learning communities so they help each other obtain, improve, and retain the skills and knowledge needed to do their jobs competently. A culture that is created by the beliefs, attitudes, stated and unstated norms that shape and influence every aspect of how a school functions. School Climate School climate refers to the quality and character of school life, and is based on patterns of student, parent, and staff experiences and perceptions of school life. The focus of this model is on identifying protective factors in a child's environment (e.g., supportive relationships) that promote healthy adjustment and reduce negative outcomes, despite the presence of risk. The Initiative guides schools through this process offering a multi-faceted approach along with tools and resources to help make the changes sustainable. [4] Each dimension is discussed in detail below. … Principals have a lot of responsibility and only so many hours in the day, and they need clear, consistent signals as well as support for shifting their focus to improving school climate as their primary responsibility. Environmental factors affect how students view themselves as active learners within the classroom. [12][13] A risk factor refers to anything that increases a child's likelihood of experiencing a negative outcome in the future. It includes students', parents' and school personnel's norms, beliefs, relationships, teaching and learning practices, as well as organizational and structural features of the school. While school “culture” and “climate” are often used interchangeably, these two terms are distinct. 5 How Are Bullying and School Climate Related to Children’s Learning and Development? Schools with a positive climate: Are places where positive, healthy, and respectful behavior is the norm and the school is well-organized and managed Students' race and ethnicity can have an influence on their perception of the school's climate. School climate refers to the quality and character of school life. School climate is the collective perception of how well a school provides suitable conditions for learning. School climate is based on patterns of students', parents' and school personnel's experience of school life; it also reflects norms, goals, values, interpersonal relationships, teaching and learning practices, and organizational structures. Principals’ roles and responsibilities need to be updated to emphasize responsibility for healthy school climate and teacher leadership as the critical vehicle for achieving it. [4] Conducting interviews and focus groups are other ways to collect information on school climate, with an estimated 8% of research studies making use of these methods. Young people are taking to the streets to demand urgent action on climate change. It can also be used to assess changes in school climate over time. For example, it was found that LGBT students who had an Asian background reported lower rates of peer victimization directed at their sexual orientation or gender expression. For school climate improvements to be successful, [4] These relationships have been found among students in kindergarten to grade 12. The term “school culture” is often used interchangeably with “school climate” and “school environment,” but the general meaning of all terms are students', parents' and school personnel's experience of school life and its associated [14][15] Psychological resilience has been studied since the 1970s and continues to grow in research. A positive school climate is the product of a school’s … For example, the structure and condition of the school, the use of specific school practices (e.g., disciplinary), and the interpersonal relationships between students and teachers, all play a role in influencing student development.[4]. The feelings and attitudes that are elicited by a school’s environment are referred to as school climate. [4], There is also a relationship between school resource allocation and student achievement. Another study also conducted with middle school students found that students from a Hispanic/Latino background felt that relationships with teachers played a bigger role in their perception of community climate than relationships with students. This capacity to work together has been a hallmark of humanity and the basis for building a civil society. When a school community has a positive climate, it will experience a stronger sense of community EducationWorld invites you to explore the following articles related to school climate. A positive school climate can also help students coping with social-emotional issues to develop resiliency. School climate refers to the overarching and pervasive norms, policies, relationships, and values that help define a school's character. For example, both lower student and teacher reports of behavioral problems have been documented in schools where teachers provide feedback on students' homework, assist in student goal-achievement, and encourage students' commitment to academic success. For instance, a survey of American middle and high school students conducted in 2013 found that more than half the students who identified as gay, bisexual, lesbian, or transgender felt unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation, and more than a third felt unsafe because of their gender expression. [41], As part of the school climate improvement process, these measures can be used to highlight a school's areas of strength and areas in need of improvement. Explicit teaching of social-emotional competencies allows children and adults to “acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and … Stakeholders include not only school personnel and students, but also families and community members. It also includes the school's connectedness, respect for diversity, and partnerships with other members of the community. It also reflects norms, goals, values, interpersonal relationships, teaching and learning practices, and organizational structures, according to the National School Climate Center . [42] In addition, some student characteristics also affect their perception of school climate. School Climate Improvement Action Guide for Working With Students 3 Engage Stakeholders in School Climate Improvements Improving school climate is a schoolwide endeavor. When students cooperate, it is evident that their learning is increased, and they develop a positive attachment to school. Additionally, declines in school climate were linked to declines in students' psychological adjustment. [4], The physical layout, size, and material resources of a school also affect school climate. Information about school climate can be collected in many ways; however, surveys are the most common method used by researchers (92%). [22][23] The quality of a schools' climate is important for promoting students' commitment and involvement in academic activities. In the context of school climate, individual behaviors are shaped by the school environment, in which each child is embedded. [4] An example of this method of measurement is visiting elementary schools to rate school design patterns of outside space and the condition of bathroom facilities. For example, growing up in poverty is considered a risk factor. How your students, staff, and parents view your school influences success, both immediately and in the long-term. "School climate refers to the quality and character of school life. school belonging, respect for student opinions, and supportive relationships) are factors directly related in student psychological functioning. [24], Research findings have also shown that a negative school climate can have detrimental effects on students' psychological and social-emotional well-being, leading to mental health problems. Through the school improvement process, policies and procedures pertaining to the school learning environment, as well as operational infrastructure to facilitate the collection of data, effective planning, implementation, evaluation, and sustainability, are strengthened. For example, setting appropriate academic expectations, promoting supportive teacher-student relationships, and creating a safe and secure environment where students' feel comfortable taking academic risks, all play a role in student development. One cannot engage in reconstructing their environment without both of these attributes working together. [34] A negative school climate is also associated to teachers having more feelings of low personal accomplishment, more cynicism, and depersonalization.[7]. Nonetheless, some general guidelines, or key practices, have been found to be effective to facilitate the process. A strong bond with the school community strengthens students' attachment to the school and encourages compliance to school norms. School Climate School climate involves more rhon staff morale. Although it is difficult to provide a concise definition for school climate, most researchers agree that it is a multidimensional construct that includes physical, social, and academic dimensions. All humans need to feel safe socially, mentally, and physically. This Comprehensive School Climate Inventory (CSCI) is a tool that can help schools to determine where they stand in terms of climate. [44], Sexual orientation can also have an important effect on students' experiences in school. [4] For instance, in a study that examined adolescents' perceptions of several dimensions of school climate, researchers emotional support from teachers and the promotion of autonomy and discussion were linked to fewer depressive symptoms in adolescents.

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