09 SES 04 B, Findings from International Comparative Achievement Studies: Perspectives on Teaching
Parallel Paper Session
A large number of researchers have developed measures of school climate. Examining these measures and their specifically assessed attributes provides further insight into the nature of school climate. These assessments consider multiple factors and individuals within the school system by using direct measures, such as surveys and interviews, and indirect measures, such as disciplinary and attendance records (Freiberg, 1998).
The National School Climate Council co-led with the Education Commission of the States (2011) defines school climate and a positive, sustainable school climate in the following way: “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, collaborative and satisfying life in a democratic society”.
How students, teachers and staff feel about their school climate underliesindividual attitudes, behaviours, and group norms (Haynes, Emmons, & Comer, 1993). For instance, schools that feel safe foster high-quality relationships between students and teachers while decreasing the probability of behavioural problems. However, it is important to note that there is variability in individual perceptions of a school’s climate, and researchers propose that it is the subjective perception of the environment that influences individual student outcomes. Thus, if a student feels that a teacher shows disregard or a lack of concern for them, this perception will impact the student’s behaviour in the classroom. Moreover, individual characteristics may impact these perceptions in that students who have behavioural problems may perceive their school climate more negatively than those who do not. A positive school climate promotes cooperative learning, group cohesion, respect and mutual trust. These particular aspects have been shown to directly improve the learning environment (Ghaith, 2003).
The recent Talis survey (2009) showed that Italian teachers spent more than 14% of class time on maintaining student order. Researchers found that both the time spent on actual teaching/learning methods and the classroom disciplinary climate are fundamental for effective schooling. This premise from the Talis survey is derived from two different surveys.
In the first survey, teachers perceive a correlation between classroom management and disruptive behaviour. Teachers that tend to perceive a class as a whole use a global assessment of students, believe in the success of every student and make the classroom climate more positive (Mitchel, Bradshaw, Leaf, 2010).
In the second quality survey, teachers (who practice Culturally Relevant Pedagogy CRP) perceive classroom climate as an environment in which to build student/teacher relationships and respectful climates (Parhar, Sensoy, 2011). From this perspective, the power in the classroom is distributed rather than concentrated on the teacher.
The main aim of our study is to measure: (a) the school climate dimensions; and (b) parent, student, teacher and educational assistance personnel opinions on the effects of teachers.
Freiberg, H. J. (1998). Measuring school climate: Let me count the ways. Educational Leadership, 56(1), 22-26. Ghaith, G. (2003). The relationship between forms of instruction, achievement and perceptions of classroom climate. Educational Researcher, 45 (1), 83-93. Haynes, N. M., Emmons, C., & Comer, J. P. (1993). Elementary and middle school climate survey. New Haven, CT. Yale University Child Study Center. http://www.schoolclimate.org/climate http://nscc.csee.net/policy Kerr, D., Ireland, E., Lopes, J., Craig, R. & Cleaver, E. (2004). Citizenship Education Longitudinal Study: Second Annual Report: First Longitudinal Study. National Foundation for Educational Research, 1-154. Mitchel M., Bradshaw C., Leaf P. (2010) Students and teachers perceptions of school climate: a multilevel exploration of patterns of discrepancy, Journal of schools health, vol. 80, n. 6, pp. 271-279. Parhar N., Sensoy Ö., (2011) Culturally Relevant Pedagogy redux: Canadian teachers´ conceptions of their work and its challenges, Canadian Journal of Education, vol. 24, n.2, pp. 189-218.
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