Advertisement

Learning Environments Research

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 253–274 | Cite as

A Two-Level Analysis of Classroom Climate in Relation to Social Context, Group Composition, and Organization of Special Support

  • Mara Westling Allodi
Article

Abstract

This study investigated classroom climate in relation to social context, heterogeneity (disability, multiculturalism) in class composition, and the occurrence of differentiated learning environments for children who need special support. Pupils aged 8–12 (679 from 39 classes in Swedish compulsory schools) responded to a questionnaire about classroom climate. Eighty of these students receive special support at school using various modalities. Multilevel factor analysis was applied to data to estimate differences within and between groups. Three significant climate factors were found. They pertained to the level of friction, satisfaction, and cohesiveness in the classroom.

Social context was related to these three factors and to the occurrence of differentiated learning environments. The inclusion of pupils with disabilities appears to be related to less friction and higher cohesiveness among children. The article proposes increased interventions aimed at improving the school climate in disadvantaged neighborhoods. It also suggests that aspects of the placement of pupils with disabilities and of the organization of special support should be considered as indicators in studies of school effectiveness.

classroom environment disabilities educational organization heterogeneous grouping inclusive schools multilevel factor analysis special education 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

REFERENCES

  1. Anderson, L. W. (1989). Summary, conclusions and implication. In L. W. Anderson, D. W. Ryan, & B. J. Shapiro (Eds.), The IEA classroom environment study (pp. 289-302). Oxford, UK: Pergamon.Google Scholar
  2. Arbuckle, J. L., & Wothke, W. (1995-1999). Amos 4.0 user's guide. Chicago: SmallWaters Corporation.Google Scholar
  3. Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  4. Bronfrenbrenner, U. (1979). The ecology of human development: Experiments by nature and design. Cambridge, MA.: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Canevaro, A., Cocever, E., & Weis, P. (1996). Le ragioni dell'integrazione: Inserimento scolastico di alunni con handicap. Una ricerca in tre aree dell'Unione Europea [The reasons of integration: Mainstreaming pupils with handicap. A study in three areas of the European Union]. Turin, Italy: UTET.Google Scholar
  6. Chiari, G. (1997). Climi di classe e apprendimento: Un progetto di sperimentazione per il miglioramento del clima di classe in quattro cittá italiane [Classroom climates and learning: An experimental intervention on the classroom climate in four Italian towns]. Milan, Italy: Franco Angeli.Google Scholar
  7. Créton, H., Wubbels, T., & Hooymayers, H. (1993). A systems perspective on classroom communication. In T. Wubbels & J. Levy (Eds.), Do you know what you look like?: Interpersonal relationships in education (pp. 1-12). London: Falmer Press.Google Scholar
  8. Erikson, R., & Jonsson, J. O. (Eds.). (1994). Sortering i skolan: Studier av snedrekrytering och utbildningens konsekvenser [Selection in the schools: Studies of biased recruiting and the impact of education]. Stockholm: Carlsson.Google Scholar
  9. Fischbein, S., Malmgren-Hansen, A., Westling Allodi, M., & Roll-Pettersson, L. (1997). Elever i specialpedagogisk verksamhet (ESV-projektet). Delrapport 1: Planering och genomförande [Pupils in special education programs (The PSEP Project). Partial report 1: Planning and implementation]. Stockholm: Stockholm Institute of Education, Department of Special Education.Google Scholar
  10. Fisher, D., Sax, C., Rodifer, K., & Pumpian, I. (1999). Teacher's perspective of curriculum and climate changes: Benefits of inclusive education. Journal for a Just & Caring Education, 5, 256-269.Google Scholar
  11. Fraser, B. J. (1985). Individualized Classroom Environment Questionnaire. Melbourne, Australia: Australian Council for Educational Research.Google Scholar
  12. Fraser, B. J. (1986). Classroom environment. London: Croom Helm.Google Scholar
  13. Fraser, B. J. (1998). Classroom environment instruments: Development, validity and applications. Learning Environments Research, 1, 7-34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fraser, B. J., Anderson, G. J., & Walberg, H. J. (1982). Assessment of learning environments: Manual for Learning Environment Inventory (LEI) and My Class Inventory (MCI). Perth, Australia: Western Australian Institute of Technology.Google Scholar
  15. Freiberg, H. J. (1996). From tourists to citizens in the classrooms. Educational Leadership, 54(1), 32-36.Google Scholar
  16. Giangreco, M. F., & Baumgart, D. M. J. (1995). How inclusion can facilitate teaching and learning. Intervention in School and Clinic, 30, 273-279.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gustafsson, J. E. (1998). Social background and teaching factors as determinants of reading achievement at classroom and individual levels. Nordisk Pedagogik, 18, 241-250.Google Scholar
  18. Gustafsson, J. E., & Stahl, P. A. (2000). Streams. User's guide. Version 2.5 for Windows. Mölndal, Sweden: Multivariate Ware.Google Scholar
  19. Husén, T. (1986). Genombrottså ren för svensk utbildningsforskning: krafter, idéer, aktörer [The breakthrough years of Swedish educational research: Forces, ideas, actors]. In J.-E. Gustafsson & F. Marton (Eds.), Pedagogikens gränser och möjligheter (pp. 29-49). Lund, Sweden: Studentlitteratur.Google Scholar
  20. Jöreskog, K. G. (1969). A general approach to confirmatory factor analysis. Psykometrika, 34, 183-202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Ladd, G. W., Kochenderfer, B. J., & Coleman, C. C. (1997). Classroom peer acceptance, friendship, and victimization: Distinct relational systems that contribute uniquely to children's school adjustment? Child Development, 68, 1181-1197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lewin, K. (1997). Resolving social conflicts: Field theory in social science. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  23. Lundh, C., & Ohlsson, R. (1994). Frå n arbetskraftimport till flyktinginvandring [From the import of labor to refugee immigration]. Stockholm: SNS.Google Scholar
  24. Moos, R. H. (1979). Evaluating educational environments. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  25. Muthén, B. O. (1991). Multilevel factor analysis of class and student achievement components. Journal of Educational Measurement, 28, 338-354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Muthén, B. O. (1994). Multilevel covariance structure analysis. Sociological Methods and Research, 22, 376-398.Google Scholar
  27. National Agency for Education [Skolverket]. (2000). Nationella kvalitetsgranskningar 1999: Arbete mot mobbning och annat kränkande behandling, undervisning om sex och samlevnad samt undervisning om tobak alkohol och andra droger [National Quality Audits 1999: Efforts against bullying and other abusive treatment; sex education, and instruction about tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs] (Report No. 180). Stockholm: Liber.Google Scholar
  28. National Agency for Education [Skolverket]. (2001a). Tillsynsdatabas [Supervisory database WWW document]. URL http://www.skolverket.se/tillsyn/index.htmlGoogle Scholar
  29. National Agency for Education [Skolverket]. (2001b). Beskrivande data om barnomsorg, skola och vuxenutbildning 2001 [Descriptive data about child care, schools, and adult education 2001] (Report No. 206). Stockholm: Liber.Google Scholar
  30. Peltier, G. L. (1997). The effect of inclusion on non-disabled children: A review of the research. Contemporary Education, 68, 234-238.Google Scholar
  31. Putnam, R. D. (1993). Making democracy work: Civic tradition in modern Italy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Roll-Pettersson, L. (1999). Specialpedagogisk verksamhet utifrå n lärares och föräldrars behov [Special education practices: The needs of teachers and parents]. (Elever i specialpedagogisk verksamhet (ESV) [Pupils in special education programs (PSEP)].Report No 2, Studies in Special Education). Stockholm: Stockholm Institute of Education.Google Scholar
  33. Sharma, S. (1996). Applied multivariate techniques. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  34. Simeonsson, R. J., & Bailey, D. B. (1991). The Abilities Index. Chapel Hill, NC: Frank Porter Graham Development Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.Google Scholar
  35. Simeonsson, R. J., & Roll-Pettersson, L. (1997). Skattning av funktionsområ den SFO [The Abilities Index, Swedish version]. Stockholm: Stockholm Institute of Education.Google Scholar
  36. SOU (Statens Offentliga Utredningar) [National Official Investigations]. (1998). FUNKIS-Funktionshindrade elever i skolan [Disabled pupils at school] (National official investigation 1998:66, Swedish Government, Department of Education). Stockholm: Fritzes.Google Scholar
  37. Staub, D., & Peck, C. (1994/1995). What are the outcomes for nondisabled students? Educational Leadership, 52(4), 36-41.Google Scholar
  38. Torney-Purta, J., Lehmann, R., Oswald, H., & Schulz, W. (2001). Citizenship and education in twenty-eight countries: Civic knowledge and engagement at age fourteen. Delft, The Netherlands: The International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA).Google Scholar
  39. Uekawa, K., & Lange, R. (1998). An international perspective on eighth grade mathematics performance in rural, urban, and suburban schools: The United States vs. Korea. (ERIC report ED428960)Google Scholar
  40. UNESCO. (1994). The Salamanca statement and framework for action on special needs education. [WWW document] URL: http://www.unesco.org/education/educprog/sne/ files_pdf/framew_e.pdfGoogle Scholar
  41. Wang, M. C., Haertel, G. D., & Walberg, H. J. (1996). Fostering educational resilience in inner-city schools (LSS Publication Series 96-4). [WWW document]. URL: http:// www.temple.edu/LSS/pub96-4.htm http://www.temple.edu/LSS/pub96-4.htmGoogle Scholar
  42. Westling Allodi, M., & Fischbein, S. (2000). Boundaries in school: Educational settings for pupils perceived as different. Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research, 2 (2), 63-86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Young, D. J. (1998). Rural and urban differences in student achievement in science and mathematics: A multilevel analysis. School Effectiveness & School Improvement, 9, 386-419.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mara Westling Allodi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Human Development, Learning and Special EducationStockholm Institute of EducationStockholmSweden

Personalised recommendations