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ERIC Number: ED553170
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Feb
Pages: 63
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 20
Positive School Climate: What It Looks Like and How It Happens. Nurturing Positive School Climate for Student Learning and Professional Growth
Smith, Tami Kopischke; Connolly, Faith; Pryseski, Charlene
Baltimore Education Research Consortium
The term "school climate" has been around for more than a hundred years to explore the idea of school environmental or contextual factors that might have an impact on student learning and academic success. During the past three decades there has been growing research to support the importance of a positive school climate in promoting academic achievement, school safety, dropout prevention, teacher retention, healthy social interactions, and well-being (Cohen, 2010; Dynarski, Clarke, Cobb, Finn, Rumberger, & Smink, 2008). Although school climate has been studied for a long time, researchers have yet to develop a common definition. Most often cited, however, is a definition developed by the National School Climate Center (NSCC): "School climate refers to the quality and character of school life. 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. A sustainable, positive school climate fosters youth development and learning necessary for a productive, contributing and satisfying life in a democratic society" (retrieved from the NSCC website November 26, 2013). The purpose of this report is to describe how principals, staff, and students in five schools have made deliberate attempts to improve their school climate. Data were collected through observations, focus groups, and interviews during the spring of 2013. Through this report, the authors answer the following research questions: (1) What factors most influence a school's climate, from the perspective of the students, teachers, and staff? (2) What strategies or practices can a school adopt? and (3) How does a principal intentionally create a positive school climate? Two appendices include: (1) NSCC Model of School Climate; and (2) Protocols.
Baltimore Education Research Consortium. 2701 North Charles Street Suite 300, Baltimore, MD 21218. Tel: 410-516-4044; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires; Reports - Research-practitioner Partnerships
Education Level: Elementary Education; Secondary Education; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Open Society Institute-Baltimore
Authoring Institution: Baltimore Education Research Consortium (BERC)
Identifiers - Location: Maryland