American Educational Research Association (AERA)
School Climate and Culture Special Interest Group (SIG)

Purpose Statement*

School Climate is the study of the social-psychological attributes of the school (such as school members' shared ideologies, values, norms, beliefs, feelings, methodologies and expectations for school members' behaviors and for the school's structure and operation), and how these attributes are organized in formal and informal school groups, with particular interests in their relation to student learning and achievement and to effective functioning classroom and schools.

Related school climate areas that are acceptable for this SIG are the following: character education, values-based instruction, safe and peaceful schools, bullying, job satisfaction, sense of belonging, community, positive discipline, caring communities of learners, collaborative decision making, parent as partners, moral education, tolerance, levels of openness and trust, respecting differences, etc.

*This statement is taken from Western Georgia Website.

While there is general agreement as to what constitutes school climate and culture, this may be a good opportunity to redefine the mission of our field and SIG. Currently, there are over 50 school climate inventories. Each defines climate slightly differently. Please offer your thoughts on the bulletin board related to the following questions:

Would a more uniform definition for the field of school climate research desirable?
Should such a definition be narrow, or broad enough to incorporate factors within a school
  that correlate and contribute to climate?
What is the difference between Climate and Culture?
What is a good school climate?

Current Administration
SIG Chair: John Shindler
California State University, Los Angeles
+1 323.343.5824

Program Chair: Billy Gastic
University of Massachusetts Boston

CA Superintendent's Report
Report outlines the recommendations from the CA superintendent of Public Instruction related to promoting higher level of achievement and improving the performance of schools with high minority populations. Recommendation #5 is to conduct a School Climate Evaluation. ASSC (formerly WASSC) is featured in the report. ASSC has been put on a "short list" of providers from the state.

» Closing the Achievement Gap. 2008 Report of Jack O'Connell's California P-16 Counsel

School Climate Resources