School Climate: a Review of the Construct, Measurement, and Impact on Student Outcomes

Abstract

The construct of school climate has received attention as a way to enhance student achievement and reduce problem behaviors. The purpose of this article is to evaluate the existing literature on school climate and to bring to light the strengths, weakness, and gaps in the ways researchers have approached the construct. The central information in this article is organized into five sections. In the first, we describe the theoretical frameworks to support the multidimensionality of school climate and how school climate impacts student outcomes. In the second, we provide a breakdown of the four domains that make up school climate, including academic, community, safety, and institutional environment. In the third, we examine research on the outcomes of school climate. In the fourth, we outline the measurement and analytic methods of the construct of school climate. Finally, we summarize the strengths and limitations of the current work on school climate and make suggestions for future research directions.

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Wang, MT., Degol, J. School Climate: a Review of the Construct, Measurement, and Impact on Student Outcomes. Educ Psychol Rev 28, 315–352 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10648-015-9319-1

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Keywords

  • School climate
  • School environment
  • Measurement
  • Behavioral development
  • Socioemotional development
  • Academic performance