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


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 


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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

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