09 SES 11 A, Towards Explaining Achievement: Findings from international comparative achievement studies (Part 2)
School climate has been proven to be an important factor for student academic achievement, with teachers playing a vital role in fostering a positive climate (Cohen, 2007; Thapa, Cohen, Guffey, & Higgins-D’Alessandro, 2013; Wang & Degol, 2016). School climate is a complex notion comprising academic, social and physical dimensions (Kutsyuruba, Klinger, & Hussain, 2015). Given its close association with school SES, the relations between school climate and achievement need to be investigated with SES taken into account (Berkowitz, Moore, Astor, & Benbenishty, 2016). Recent research suggests that favorable school climate can positively influence student achievement beyond the effect of school SES. In addition, positive school climate may have a compensating effect on student achievement in lower SES schools (Cheema & Kitsantas, 2014). The main aim of this study was to investigate the role of school climate for 8th graders achievement in mathematics in Sweden based on TIMSS 2011 data. We relied on teachers’ perceptions of school climate in our analysis. Analytical methods were mainly confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling. Preliminary findings show that when school SES is taken into account, only the effect of social climate and teacher education remain significant. Findings also suggest that social school climate may have a compensating function in lower SES schools, with its mechanisms to be explored further.
Berkowitz, R., Moore, H., Astor, R., Benbenishty, R. (2016). A research synthesis of the associations between socioeconomic background, inequality, school climate, and academic achievement. Review of Educational Research, 10, 1-45. Cheema, J. & Kitsantas, A. (2014). Influences of disciplinary classroom climate on high school student self-efficacy and mathematics achievement: A look at gender and racial–ethnic differences. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 12(5), 1261-1279. Cohen, J. (2007). Evaluating and improving school climate. Independent School, 67(1), 18-26. Kutsyuruba, B., Klinger, D., Hussain, A. (2015). Relationships among school climate, school safety, and student achievement and well-being: a review of the literature. Review of Education, 3(2), 103-135. Thapa, A., Cohen, J., Guffey, S., Higgins-D’Alessandro, A. (2013). A review of school climate research. Review of Educational Research, 83, 357-385. Wang, M.T. & Degol, J. (2016). School climate: a review of the construct, measurement, and impact on student outcomes. Educational Psychology Review, 28(2), 315-352.
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